Let’s Be Clear (Part 2)

Eye Health

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 FACTS.

There are many myths that surround the eyes. It would be to your advantage to know them so as not to follow old wives’ tales blindly. Here are some commoner ones to take note of.

Darker sunglasses provide more protection for the eyes

The colour of the sunglasses you wear has nothing to do with eye protection. Always look for sunglasses that will block off both wavelengths of harmful ultraviolet rays – UVA and UVB rays. It is important to get a good pair of sunglasses because exposure to bright sunlight can increase your risk for cataracts and age-related vision loss. The ability to block off UV light also does not depend on how expensive the sunglasses are. The brand does not matter! Choose sunglasses that have a CE mark which is a label that says 100% UV protection from UVA and UVB rays, or has a UV400 tag.

Rubbing the eye is okay when dust gets in

When you rub the eye with a foreign particle still in your eye, it would literally 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 the eye, 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 particle 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. You are advised to see your medical practitioner without delay. Remember that serious eye injuries may seem minor at first.

Using artificial sweeteners will make your eyes more sensitive to light

Some sugar substitutes like cyclamates may cause eyes to be more sensitive to light. Some medication such as 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, do discuss this with your physician.

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.

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