During my professional day, I answer questions my patients have about their eye exams as well as general eye questions. I field a lot of questions about anything related to the eye, vision, or eyeglasses.
The fun part of patient conversation is dispelling myths about eyeglasses. I wanted to discuss some of them so you can be educated and amused the next time you hear one of these common myths.
5 Myths About Eyeglasses
Myth #1: The more you wear your eyeglasses, the more dependent you are on them.
This is the most common question I get asked concerning eyeglasses. But, the concept is incorrect.
It’s human nature to want better than what you had before. The same principle applies to your vision—so once you’ve tried glasses, it’s unappealing to go back to blurry vision.
If eyeglasses improve your vision, you want to see better all the time and not just some of the time, so you probably will wear your eyeglasses often. It’s not that you become more dependent on your eyeglasses—it’s just that you prefer seeing the world clearly.
Another analogy is that if you drive a luxury car, you wouldn’t want to go back to a regular car that everyone else has, right?
Myth #2: Wearing someone else’s eyeglasses can damage your vision permanently.
This is another common question that I get daily. Each person has a unique eyeglass prescription. Your right and left eyeglass prescription is usually not the same, so the right and left eyes must be tested individually to maximize your vision.
With that concept in mind, wearing someone else’s eyeglass prescription will only result in you not seeing the best that you can see and nothing more.
Myth #3: Generic sunglasses are all you need to protect your eyes from the rays of the sun.
This is a common misconception concerning sunglasses. Just because sunglasses are darkly tinted doesn’t mean that they are protective. With a good quality pair of sunglasses, coatings are incorporated into the lenses to not only protect you from ultraviolet light (UV coating), but also glare (Anti-reflective coating) and excessive light (Mirror coating). Scratch-resistant coating can also be used to protect the lens itself.
All these coatings are “baked in” to a good pair of sunglasses, which is partly the reason why sunglasses vary in price.
Myth #4: Eye exercises can improve your vision, so you don’t have to rely on eyeglasses.
I see this a lot in advertisements, social media, and the news. The fact is that eye exercises can improve certain aspects of your vision in terms of how the eyes focus, work together in unison, and track and process visual information more effectively. There is a specialty in eye care called Vision Therapy that helps improve the aspects mentioned above.
However, if specifically talking about the sharpness of vision at a distance and near, eyeglasses are the only option to achieve that result, other than contact lenses and refractive surgery.
Myth #5: Taking a break from your eyeglasses and making your eyes focus by themselves will improve your vision.
I’ve seen this in popular media and am often dumbfounded by the amount of misinformation circulating around popular news outlets.
The truth is that it’s always good to rest your eyes, especially when doing long hours of near work such as on computers, paperwork or just surfing the internet. Your eyes were not built to look at a fixed point for hours and hours.
Eye strain is a common disorder these days because of the increased use of computers for business, zoom meetings, and schoolwork.
However, your eyes will not magically improve if you take out the one thing that makes them focus better, which is your eyeglasses. Your eyeglasses are there to correct the refractive error you currently have, which can change with time.
If you don’t use your eyeglasses, you will just increase your eyestrain faster.
I hope I’ve cleared up some misconceptions and myths regarding eyeglasses. And I hope you got a chuckle, snicker, or laugh along the way.