Eye Myths or Facts (Part 2)

Resident Consultant Ophthalmologist, Hospital Fatimah Ipoh
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 AND FACTS.

The eyes are windows to the world around us. There are many myths that surround the eyes. You may not be blessed with perfect vision but you can take your blinkers off when it comes to eye-care. Here are some common myths about eye-care:

When you get something in your eye, it’s alright to rub it out

Tired Boy Rubbing EyesThis 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 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.

Wearing prescription spectacles makes you dependent on them

Should you be required to wear a pair of corrective (powered) spectacles in order to improve your vision because it is 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.

The darker the sunglasses the more protection your eyes get from the sun

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. Brand also does not matter! Choose sunglasses that either has a CE mark, a label that says 100% UV protection from UVA and UVB rays, or has a UV400 tag.


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

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.

For more information, call Gill Eye Specialist Centre at Hospital Fatimah

(05-545 5582) or email: gilleyecentre@dr.com.