3 Optical Untruths
Untruth Number One!
Wearing my glasses will make my eyes weaker.
Untrue. You likely feel this way because you felt you were getting along fine without your glasses. And although you can see great with your new specs, you just simply can’t see as good as you used to when you take them off.
Try to imagine what your day-to-day tasks were like prior to getting your new glasses.
- Were you squinting? Perhaps you didn’t even notice but you…
- Had a headache by the end of the day?
- Were you having to move reading material, your phone, menus nearer or further away to see them better?
Did it always seem like the lighting was wrong?
The struggle was real! Once you put your new glasses on, the hardship ended. Seeing became unchallenging, your eyes and brain, and behaviours didn’t have to try so hard.
Take exercise, for example, when you start doing pushups it’s difficult, but after doing them for a while the task becomes easier (your body is getting used to doing a difficult task). Now, if you take a 6-month hiatus from pushups (wear your glasses) your body gets used to not having to work so hard but do a pushup and BAM! Not as easy as it once was, is it?
Yes, you may need your glasses for effortless vision, but the truth is, isn’t that the reason you got them?
Untruth Number Two!
I don’t need to wear my sunglasses in the winter.
Most people know that UV radiation can be detrimental to your skin. However, a lot of people may not realize just how damaging it can be to your eyes.
When your eyes are exposed to UV rays over a short period of time you can experience photokeratitis, this is kind of like a sunburn of the eye.
Symptoms may include:
The feeling of a foreign body or gritty feeling
Luckily, although uncomfortable these symptoms rarely lead to permanent damage.
Nevertheless, the longer your eyes are left unprotected from UV radiation the greater your chances are for cataracts and macular degeneration.
All this being said, why do we need to wear sunglasses when it’s cold?
Well although UVB rays (the shorter rays) are less intrusive when the earth is tipped away from the sun. The UVA rays (longer rays) are always reaching every spot that light touches. UVA levels are the same during December as they are in July whether you live in California or Winnipeg!
Not to mention reflective rays from the snow and ice can increase the risk of overexposure from UV radiation. As well if you enjoy winter sports, higher altitudes = higher risk. UV exposure increases approximately 5% per 1000 feet over sea level, and snow reflects up to 80% of UV light so you may even be hit with the same rays twice. Stay protected year-round! Trust us, it’s worth it!
Untruth Number Three!
I don’t need glasses, so I don’t need to see an optometrist.
Well, your eyes are the window to your soul… okay the window to your body. Comprehensive eye exams, yes, will diagnose whether you need corrective lenses or not to see better. But eyes are astonishing!
They can show early signs of things like:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Macular degeneration
- Even some forms of cancer
And anyone in the medical field will tell you that early detection is key!
Most insurance companies will even cover a routine eye exam every year or two. This should tell you something because insurance companies won’t pay for the unnecessary. They consider it preventative. It cost them less money in the long run if you get your eyes checked regularly! And here in Alberta, Alberta Health Care will cover an eye exam for children every year, and seniors every year, whether they wear glasses or not.
Think about it, people who have undiagnosed problems for years are more likely to require more costly care in the future. How does that old saying go? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!
So, how often should you see your Optometrist?
- First Exam = Between 10 & 14 Months Old
- 1-18 Years Old = Once Per Year
- 19-64 Years Old = Once Every 2 Years
- 65 and Up = Once Per Year
Other warning signs when it’s time to see your Optometrist
- Changes in night vision
- Diagnosis of health conditions
- Difficulty focusing
- Eye Fatigue (recurrent)
- Infection or discharge
- Frequent headaches or migraines
- Light Sensitivity