Myths About Vision Loss
Myth: Safety goggles are more trouble than they are worth.
Fact: There are 500,000 eye injuries every year in the USA. 50% of these accidents occur at home. The leading cause of blindness in children is eye injury. 90% of injuries can be avoided by using proper eye protection.
Myth: There is no need to have your vision checked before you turn 40.
Fact: There are treatable eye diseases; glaucoma is one of them, which can show up before you turn 40.
Myth: Wearing poorly fit glasses damages your eyes.
Fact: The right eyeglass prescription is required for good vision. Poor fitting glasses do not damage your eyes.
Myth: Poorly fit contacts do not harm your eyes.
Fact: Poorly fit contact lenses can damage your cornea. If you use contact lenses, have them checked regularly.
Myth: Eating carrots will improve your vision.
Fact: Carrots are high in Vitamin A, which is important for a balanced diet. Eating carrots or other foods high in Vitamin A will not improve your vision. Taking large amounts of Vitamin A can be very harmful. People that do not eat a balanced diet can develop vision problems along with other problems as they age.
Myth: Sitting close to the television will harm your eyes.
Fact: There is no evidence that sitting close to the television will damage your eyes. If this were true, office workers that sit 8 hours a day 17 inches from their computer screens, would all be blind. Sit wherever you are most comfortable when watching TV.
Myth: Doctors can transplant eyes.
Fact: Doctors can transplant the cornea, but not the eye its self. The retina and optic nerve are part of the brain. When doctors figure out how to transplant the brain, they will be able to transplant the eye.
Myth: Scientists have created a Bionic Eye.
Fact: Scientists have been working on a microchip to replace damaged retina cells in a person's central vision. Other scientists have been trying to figure out a way to connect a camera directly to the brain. The eye and the brain do not work the same way a camera and computer do. Even after someone figures out how to make a bionic eye, they still have to figure out how to connect it to the neural circuitry of the brain. What they have created so far is a crude form of vision consisting of several dots of light.
Myth: Reading in dim light will damage your vision.
Fact: Reading in dim light can make your eyes feel tired. It is not harmful and cannot damage your vision.
Myth: Eye exercises will improve your vision.
Fact: Eye exercises will not improve your vision. This myth has made many people wealthy. Rolling your eyes around has no effect on your vision.
Myth: It is not harmful to look at the sun if you squint or use dark glasses.
Fact: The sun's ultra-violet light will still get to your eyes, damaging the cornea, lens and retina. Never look directly at a solar eclipse. The direct light from the sun can blind a person in less then a minute.
Myth: You can cure a black eye by putting a raw steak on it.
Fact: Putting a steak on your eye will do nothing except expose your eye to any organisms living on the raw meat. Get immediate medical attention, a black can be a sign of serious eye injury.
Myth: You can weir your eyes out by using them too much.
Fact: You cannot wear your eyes out by using them. Cutting down on reading or close work, will not help or harm your eyesight.
Myth: Doctors can only remove cataracts after they ripen.
Fact: Cataracts, unlike fruit, do not "ripen." It is up to you, and your doctor, to decide when to remove a cataract. Most people have them removed when the decrease in vision starts bothering them.
Myth: Too much sex, especially masturbation, can make you go blind.
Fact: Syphilis, a sexually transmitted disease, if left untreated can lead to blindness, dementia and death. This is where this myth came from.
Myth: Blind people have a sixth sense or extra ordinary talents.
Fact: Most People with (20/20) vision do not pay much attention to their other senses. Blind people have worked hard to develop their other senses to compensate for their vision loss. There is no sixth sense.
Myth: Blind people live in a world of total darkness.
Fact: Only a small percentage of Legally Blind people see nothing at all. Darkness is the eye telling you that there is no light on. People who are (totally blind) do not have the ability to see light, or darkness. They see nothing at all.
Myth: Strong enough glasses will help anyone who is visually impaired.
Fact: Refractive lenses (glasses) cannot correct all visual impairments. Glasses cannot fix eye conditions that involve the retina, optic nerve, or brain.
Myth: A dog-guide knows how to get its master where he wants to go.
Fact: The blind person knows where they are going, and how to get there, not the dog. The dog's trainer teaches it to respond to traffic, street travel, and the commands their master will give them. A blind person goes through a month long training program to learn how to use the dog.
Myth: All blind people read Braille.
Fact: Only 10% of Legally Blind people read Braille. Developing the sense of touch it takes to read Braille is difficult for older people who make up 66% of the blind population. Ninety percent of Legally Blind people have some usable vision and most of them can read print or magnified print.
Myth: You need to speak louder when talking to a blind person.
Fact: Blind people have poor eyes not ears. Talk to them as you would to anyone else. When in a room with several other people use their name so they know you are speaking to them and not someone else.
Myth: Blind people can always identify you by your voice.
Fact: When answering your phone, do you know everyone by voice? It is a good idea to identify your self when meeting a blind person.
Myth: In order to travel independently, a blind person needs a guide dog.
Fact: To travel independently most Legally Blind people do not even need to use a White Cane. Very few use dog guides. Approximately 1,300,000 Americans are (Legally Blind); 109,000 of them use white canes; 7,000 use dog guides.
Myth: All blind people are alike.
Fact: "The Blind" is a term used by groups with political and social agendas. People with poor or no vision come from all races and ethnic groups, rich and poor alike. Being Legally Blind is a bit more then a nuisance for the 76-year-old women loosing vision from Macular Degeneration. A college student, who has had 18 years of training in how to function without vision, and knows no other way, may think of it differently. A 45-year-old truck driver going blind from glaucoma may go back to school and get an office job, or he may retire early and collect disability. A 39-year-old lawyer loosing his vision will get training in Braille, find readers and learn to rely on public transit to do his job. The 52-year-old stock clerk, that rides a bike to work every day, has been legally blind all his life. Everyone finds there own answers in life its no different for people that have poor or no eye sight.
Myth: Blind people, to maintain secrecy and security, staff the
snack bars at the CIA.
Fact: Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act, blind people are allowed to operate all food service and vending facilities in government buildings. This act was one the first government programs to help employ the blind. The program has nothing to do with secrecy or security in government buildings.