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 & MYTHS.
Myths and facts about issues surround us daily with many of them being passed on from one person to another without any confirmation of truth. So, take your blinkers off when it comes to eye-care ads and know the facts. Here are some common myths about eye-care:
THE DARKER THE SUNGLASSES THE MORE PROTECTION YOUR EYES GET FROM THE SUN
This is not true. The colour of the sunglasses you wear has nothing 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 the sunglasses, or how dark the sunglass lenses are. Brand also does not matter! Choose sunglasses that either have a CE mark, a label that says 100% UV protection from UVA and UVB rays, or has a UV400 tag.
WHEN DUST GETS IN YOUR EYE, RUBBING IS FINE
This is the big mistake that many make. Never rub your eyes because it can 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 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 are potential sources of infection. See a doctor if things do not settle.
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 heavy 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
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.