Fact vs. Fiction: The Truth About Your Vision

Eye GraphicVision myths pervade the internet and YouTube, so how can you separate fact from fiction when it comes to protecting your eyesight?

Here are just a few of the most commonly debated questions concerning eyes and vision – and the facts to settle the argument:

Using Over-The-Counter Anti-Redness Eye Drops Every Day is Good for Your Eyes

Fiction. Anti-redness drops are safe to use for a few days, but long-term use can have the opposite effect. Anti-redness drops constrict the blood vessels in the eyes to remove redness, but the drops can actually cause more redness over time.

Only Males Are Colorblind

Fiction. Females can be colorblind too, but it is rare. About eight percent of males with Northern European ancestry have the common form of red-green colorblindness, compared to 0.5 percent of females. Males are more likely to be colorblind because inherited colorblindness is a recessive sex-linked trait that is carried on the X chromosome. Because males only have one X chromosome, they have a much higher chance of being red-green colorblind.

Smoking Increases Risk for Cataracts and AMD

Fact. According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoke contains 7,000 chemicals and 69 known carcinogens. Toxic, free-radicals in cigarette smoke destroy proteins in healthy eye cells and initiate eye disease. Cataracts and macular degeneration are two of the leading causes of vision loss in the United States, and both occur more commonly in smokers.

You Can Catch a Cold Virus Through the Eyes

Fact. Have you ever noticed a distinct taste in the back of your throat when you put in eye drops? Look at your lower eyelid in a mirror and notice a little hole on the inside edge near your nose. The hole is called the lacrimal punctum, and it connects to the back of your nose and throat. If something small enough – like a chemical or bacterium –  gets into your eye, it can travel through this intricate system of ducts that connect your eyes, nose and throat. This is just another reason that you should wash your hands often.

Come back next month for more fact versus fiction debates about eye health. Here is one final fact to ponder today: eye trivia and vision facts cannot replace the importance of yearly comprehensive eye exams from an ophthalmologist. An eye exam is an essential component of whole-body wellness, so make an appointment today. If you would like to find a board-certified ophthalmologist in your area, click here to get a list of qualified providers.

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