The Truth Behind Popular Eye Beliefs


At Eyes on You, a downtown Seattle optical shop, we often hear interesting beliefs about maintaining your eye health and various ostensible detriments, but how many are actually true? As a Seattle optometrist, Dr. Lawson is well-versed in distinguishing between the truths and the myths of optometry, and can help guide you in the right direction. For instance, reading this very article - no matter the size of font or brightness of light will not permanently damage your eyes. Although how many of us grew up thinking that trying to read in the dark or reading too-small font sizes would cripple our optical receptors? Or that squinting will lead to poor vision? Fortunately, these things will only lead to temporary eye strain and perhaps crow’s feet. Let’s now dispel or reveal what little truth may be behind these popular eye beliefs.

Belief: Squinting too much damages your vision.

Answer: Myth

Squinting may be a sign that you need glasses, but it won’t make your vision any worse. "Squinting is an attempt to make the pupil smaller -- it lets in less light," said Dr. Richard Rosen, director of ophthalmology research at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. "By closing your lids together it further enhances your focus."

Belief: Reading in poor light or too much fine print will permanently damage my vision

Answer: Myth

"It's like saying if you take a picture in poor light, then the camera is going to be damaged," said Rosen, who worked as a photographer before he went to medical school and became an ophthalmologist.

The camera analogy may also explain why vision becomes worse in the dark.

"In low light the pupil is enlarged, so whatever defects there are in the lens…are not corrected," said Rosen. "When it's bright, you have a much greater depth of focus."

These are two of the most popular misconstrued eye beliefs. While there is some truth that these beliefs may oblige you with temporary impairment or detriment, nothing is long-lasting or worth rushing to the doctor about. As a premiere Seattle optometry clinic, we are dedicated to making sure that you know all you need to know about your eye health. Contact us today to schedule an eye exam or purchase new frames.