Poor eyesight occurs for many reasons; not all eye impairment is preventable, but most are treatable. According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), the UK has over two million visually impaired people. They also predict that the number of people with eyesight problems will reach up to four million within 30 years. Visual impairment often hinders people’s ability to carry out daily tasks; with the predicted increases, demand for visual impairment aids and innovative treatments will increase.
The first corrective eyeglasses were invented in Italy during the late 13th Century; luckily, technology has advanced since two lumps of glass were hinged together and placed on the bridge of the patient’s nose. Spectacles were first made and sold in Britain in 1628. Today, aids to help the visually impaired in the UK are available on most high streets and shopping centres. More options are available to bring back clear vision; some people wear corrective glasses, others use contact lenses, and now laser treatment or surgery provides a permanent solution.
Common Myths about Visual Impairment
Poor eyesight can be anything from near and farsightedness to astigmatism and macular degeneration. People want to look after their vision; however, several myths abound about the causes and prevention of sight loss. Here are some of the popular misconceptions:
- Reading in dim light will lead to poor eyesight – This is probably the most common myth about developing poor vision. Reading in dim light will not worsen your eyesight. However, it can cause eye strain or eye fatigue. Your eyes will have a difficult time focusing because of an insufficient light source. Dimmer lighting won’t give you poor eyesight, so you can read all you want before turning off the bedside light. Prepare lubricating eye drops to prevent dry eyes during a long read.
- Consuming Vitamin A will correct eye defects – Taking Vitamin A supplements will not correct eye defects. It won’t remove your vision impairment or help correct near or farsightedness. However, taking supplements as well as fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A and antioxidants help protect your eyes from developing cataracts and other muscular eye issues.
- Using eyeglasses makes your eyes dependent on lenses – Graded lenses are prescribed by eye experts for the sole reason of helping you have clearer vision. Wearing your specs won’t make your eyes dependent on your eyeglasses or worsen your vision. It will only help you see things better. Removing your specs will only cause you eye strain.
- Staring at computers and mobile phones too long will worsen your vision – Staring at computers, mobile phones or televisions all day can harm your eyes. However, it will not lead to poor eyesight, just dry eyes or eye strain. To lessen eyestrain, you can adjust the lighting on your screen. Some modern monitors have advanced options to help with eye fatigue, including anti-glare, a blue light filter and night mode.
Hopefully, learning about common misconceptions of developing poor eyesight will help you understand the causes if your sight does begin to deteriorate. A check-up with an optometrist every year is a good investment, monitors how your vision changes as you age, and ensures you receive corrective treatment earlier.
Don’t wait for your eyesight to worsen before you seek professional help, and don’t rely on hearsay tales that cause you stress when it’s not necessary.
Hassan is a Technician in mobile software programming, Internet technology and Electrical Installations. He also specialises in renewable and green energy solutions like Solar and Wind Power Systems.