By Dr S.S. Gill
Ipoh Echo’s EYE HEALTH series continues with Consultant Eye Surgeon Dr S.S. GILL talking to us about EYE MYTHS.
Eye myths are like fictional material and they need to be addressed. Here are some of them.
THE DARKER THE SUNGLASSES THE MORE THE PROTECTION
This is not true. The colour of the sunglasses you wear does not have anything to do with eye protection. Always look for sunglasses that will block off both harmful ultraviolet rays of both UVA and UVB rays. It is important to get a good pair because exposure to bright sunlight can increase your risk for cataracts and age-related vision loss. The ability to block off UV light does not depend on how expensive are the sunglasses, or how dark the sunglass lenses are. The brand also does not matter! Choose sunglasses that has a CE mark, a label that says 100% UV protection from UVA and UVB rays, or has a UV400 tag.
WHEN YOU GET SOMETHING IN YOUR EYE, IT’S ALRIGHT TO RUB IT OUT
This is the big mistake that many make. Never rub your eyes because it can damage or injure the eye. When you rub the eye with a foreign particle still in your eye, it would have a sandpaper effect on your eye, invariably resulting in injury to the eye. The commonest injury from rubbing the eye with a foreign body in it is a corneal abrasion. If this corneal abrasion gets infected, you end up with a corneal ulcer that can have serious implications including blindness. The correct thing to do is to flush out the foreign particles from the eye with water or saline. If it still remains in the eye even after flushing the eye, do not attempt to use the edge of a tissue paper or a toothpick as these potential sources of infection. See a medical practitioner without delay. Remember that serious eye injuries may seem minor at first.
WEARING PRESCRIPTION SPECTACLES MAKES YOU DEPENDANT ON THEM
Should you be required to wear a pair of corrective (powered) spectacles in order to improve your vision because they are blur, it will not result in dependence on them or further weakening of your eyes. Wearing these glasses only helps you to see better and therefore puts less strain on your eyes. In short, the prescription spectacles just allows you to enjoy good vision. It does not result in dependence.
YOUR REGULAR PRESCRIPTION GLASSES CAN DOUBLE UP AS SAFETY GLASSES.
This again is not true. While your regular prescription spectacles may be able to prevent most of the hazards of working with flying splinters and some chemicals, it cannot protect our eyes from flying objects with high velocity. Always wear proper safety goggles over your spectacles whenever you are doing any work such as hammering nails, mowing the lawn or tinkering with sharp objects.
USING ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS WILL MAKE YOUR EYES MORE SENSITIVE TO LIGHT
Sugar substitutes like cyclamates may cause eyes to be more sensitive to light. Oral contraceptives and diuretic medication may also cause the eyes to be more sensitive to light (photophobia). Should you have any undue sensitivity to light and are unsure of whether the medication has caused this, do discuss this with your physician.