Every culture has its old wives’ tales and superstitions, but Asians seem to get a particularly bad rep for making up the most ludicrous, unfounded health beliefs. Don’t consume chicken or oranges while you’re coughing. Don’t shower immediately after a heavy meal. Don’t sleep while your hair is wet (ok well this may have some truth to it).
It’s no exception when it comes to eyes and eyesight, although most of the common myths seem to be born out of a misunderstanding of scientific facts, rather than superstition. Together with our friends at Acuvue, we worked to debunk some of Asia’s most common eye-related myths.
Eat more carrots your eyesight better
Carrots contain plenty of beta-carotene and Vitamin A, making them an ideal source of nutrients that keep your retinas healthy. That, however, should not be confused for helping to improve one’s vision or reduce the effects of myopia.
It’s no reason or excuse to stay away from carrots, but all the same, consume them for the right reasons.
No need change specs, no need check eyes
Ho boy this is a big one.
Many think of the “eye test” as an essential step when getting a new pair of spectacles, where you put on the heavy mad-scientist glasses, stare at bright projections of tiny letters, and wonder how much the optician secretly enjoys torturing you with their neverending “1…2? 1… or 2?”
A myopia degree test is an essential component of eye health checks, but a comprehensive eye health screening consists of more than just that. Qualified optometrists with the right equipment in their practice will also check your eyes for other conditions like UV damage, cataracts, and glaucoma. Many of these conditions have early warning signs that are invisible to an untrained eye, and early detection gives you the opportunity to tackle the problem early.
Just like a full body check-up, you don’t (or shouldn’t!) only arrange for one when you’re experiencing a prolonged fever, or unexplained pain in your body. Health screenings should ideally be done every year, to catch and nip any developing problems in the bud.
Many who have undergone Lasik also wrongly assume that they are free from regular eye check-ups. Consuming one course of antibiotics does not immunise you to a certain virus for life. Similarly, having your myopia corrected with the Lasik procedure does not make your eye immune to other conditions, as described above. Continue scheduling regular screenings to ensure that your eyes are fully healthy, or that budding problems are dealt with swiftly.
Exercise your eyes your degree next time lower
Yeah no, it doesn’t work like that. Some of you 80s’ and 90s’ kids may remember the eye exercises you used to do in school. While massaging and flexing your eye muscles can reduce the feeling physical strain or tiredness on your eyes, it will not reduce your myopia, or improve your vision, in any way.
Don’t rub your eyes too hard!
Don’t every year change specs, your eyesight get worse faster
Myopia is a condition, and specs or contact lenses are remedies to it, not drugs that will make you spiral deeper as you use it more and more.
It’s one thing not to have a habit of scheduling regular eye checks. But please do not actively avoid regular updates to your, or your kids’, correction power for false reasons like this.
In fact, there are studies supporting the fact that children with significantly under-corrected glasses or contact lenses may experience more rapid progression of myopia – the very problem their concerned parents were hoping to mitigate.
Contact lenses can disappear behind your eyes!
Contact lenses cannot get lost behind your eyes. If you’ve been holding off from using contact lenses out of fear for this myth, don’t. It’s a well documented myth.
There’s been the occasional nightmare story of people finding a whole bunch of contact lenses they didn’t even realise they’d lost, in their eyes. While this is fact, it is also an exceptional one-time case that spread across news networks.
The bigger fact remains that it is biologically impossible to lose contacts to the rear of your eye. This is because the eye’s front membrane, the conjunctiva, acts as a sort of shrink-wrap for the front of your eye, preventing anything from finding its way to the back of the eye.
It is very possible, however, for contact lenses to get dislodged from its position on the cornea. If your lens does move out of place, don’t panic – it’s not going anywhere unreachable! Simply flush your eyes with eye drops and/or gently massage your eyelid. With a bit of coaxing and patience, the lens should make its way out to the front without too much of a fuss. If you are worried that the lens may still be in your eye, a quick trip to – you guessed it – the optometrist, will do the trick. Optometrists are able to check for, and remove, any remnants of contact lenses in your eye.
Listen less, discern more
Unsure about any other myths we haven’t addressed here? Want to verify if what we’ve shared above is true? The quickest and most reliable way to do so is to check in with a certified optometrist!
And while you’re there, get your eyes looked at too. Prevention is always better than cure.
PS: Pssst! Hey! Hi! Thanks for reading this far. Since you’ve come all this way, we thought we’d share some important information with you.
There are an estimated 19 million children in the world with visual impairments. Since 2002, Lions Clubs International Foundation has partnered with Johnson & Johnson to provide eye health education in schools and vision screening to more than 25 million children around the world, via the Sight for Kids programme. The programme has provided free eyeglasses to more than 500,000 children so far, and by 2021, Lions Clubs and Johnson & Johnson hope to double this number.
To strive towards that goal, for the month of October, Qoo10 is pledging free eye screenings to 4 underprivileged children for every 1 Acuvue e-ticket sold on Qoo10. If you’re looking to get new contacts or replenish your stock, here’s a nice little opportunity for you to score a nice discount while doing your little bit to make the world a better, clearer place! Check out Acuvue’s store on Qoo10 for more information!