A Vision for 2020
What is “perfect vision”? Most people would respond with anyone who doesn’t need glasses or contacts. And while that may be true for seeing, it isn’t always true regarding the health of our eyes. We wanted to take some time to look at some facts and myths about our eyes and how, sometimes, seeing well shouldn’t always mean believing you are well.
What is 20/20 Vision?
What does it really mean to have perfect vision? According to the American Optometric Association, 20/20 vision is a term used to express normal visual acuity (clarity or sharpness of vision) measured at a distance of 20 feet. However, having 20/20 vision does not necessarily mean you have perfect vision. 20/20 vision only indicates the sharpness or clarity of vision at a distance.
Other important vision skills, including peripheral awareness or side vision, eye coordination, depth perception, focusing ability, and color vision contribute to your overall visual ability. So you see, having 20/20 vision doesn't mean "perfect vision". Not entirely...
Myths about your eyes:
If I see fine, then my eyes must be healthy, right?
Not necessarily - Many diseases of the eye are often painless and people don’t realize something is wrong until they can’t see well anymore. Unfortunately, by the time the problem is noticed, it is too late to treat or reverse the problem. This makes it imperative that you get your eye health checked once a year, even if you have 20/20 vision.
Glasses will make my eyes worse.
False. Many people believe that the more they wear their corrective lenses, the more dependent they become, leading them to conclude that the glasses must have made their sight worse. But, there’s no scientific evidence of this! Wearing your glasses helps your eyes to focus with less strain meaning more comfort for you.
Computers are bad for your eyes.
True and false...There is a lot of hype around blue light exposure from computers. The blue light that comes off of our screens can disrupt some things, like sleep cycles, but as far as long term damage to our eyes, there isn’t any concrete evidence that proves or disproves this yet. Excessive computer use CAN cause eye strain and dryness, however. Something you can do to reduce that eye strain is called the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes look up from your screen at something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It’s a quick and easy way to give your eyes a “reset.”
Children with crossed-eyes or misaligned eyes will grow out of it as they get older.
False. Crossed-eyes or misaligned eyes, a condition called strabismus, will usually not correct itself over time. The eye must be trained to correct this by using patching, glasses, eye drops, or surgical procedures. The best results are achieved when the corrections are started as soon as possible.
The best treatment for a black eye is to hold a raw steak on it.
False. Black eyes are painful, and although they aren't usually serious, you should still see your eye doctor to rule out possible internal eye damage. To treat a minor black eye, your best bet is to hold a cold compress or a bag of frozen vegetables on it to reduce swelling and pain. As for the steak—besides the fact that it doesn't work—you'll be exposing your eyes to a potential breeding ground for infection. So, please keep raw meat away from your eyes!
Good eyesight means A LOT more than just having 20/20 vision. Sure, being able to see without corrective lenses is great, but having perfect vision means your eyes are healthy too. This means doing your research (or better yet, talking to your eye doctor) and taking steps to keep your eyes healthy, strain free, and up to date on eye exams.
Give us a call and we can help clear up any myths you might have questions about. Oh...schedule your eye exam too!