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Healthy Vision: Myths or Facts?

Did you know that the American Academy of Ophthalmology has designated May as Healthy Vision Month? Even for those of us already knowledgeable about eye health and vision facts, there’s always more to learn. To that end, let’s separate fact from fiction as we cover some common eye health myths.

1. Does eating carrots improve your vision?

Most of us have heard this idea at some point, especially during childhood when well-meaning adults cited better vision as a reason to eat our carrots. But, is there any truth to it?

The answer is both yes and no. Carrots contain Vitamin A, so consuming them regularly means you’ll absorb more of this nutrient, which is helpful in maintaining good eyesight. At the same time, people only need a small amount of Vitamin A–and even fulfilling this requirement won’t keep you from needing vision correction.

The takeaway? Carrots are healthy for a variety of reasons, so definitely eat them! Just recognize that, while important as part of a healthy diet rich in vegetables, consuming carrots alone isn't a silver bullet for eye health or better vision.

2. Can acupuncture help heal certain eye conditions? 

Again, there’s not exactly a yes or no answer here. Back in 1980, there was a study published that cited “documentation of over 500 cases” which showed that “this modality can be successful in the treatment of (certain) eye diseases.” The conclusion was that acupuncture could make improvements in the central acuity, thereby relieving some symptoms, but not necessarily healing diseases completely.

Another source states that acupuncture can “boost overall visual acuity, reduce sensitivity to light, reduce or eliminate eye floaters, blurred vision, and dry eyes, decrease excessive tearing, and heal reddened, swollen, and/or painful eyes.” Recently, researchers have also claimed that some doctors “have successfully improved eye diseases by acupuncture at local relevant acupoints.”

The National University of Health Sciences website sums it up well: “There is still more research needed, but it is encouraging to learn the usefulness of acupuncture as a possible treatment modality.” As always, discuss options like this with your eye doctor to see if it makes sense for you.

3. Will looking at a screen up close damage your vision?

Years ago, parents were concerned about the eye-related effects their kids might experience from watching television, but today the concerns center more on phones, tablets and computers. Whichever type of technology is at hand, the question is: Will viewing a screen up close hurt your eyesight?

The answer here is no. If you sit too closely, you could get a headache or eye strain, but it won’t actually damage your vision. If you do notice a child (or even an adult) sitting too closely to a screen, though, it could be an indication of nearsightedness. If you’re having any worry about this, schedule an eye exam.

4. Is vision loss an unavoidable part of aging?

Sometimes, people are afraid that growing older means almost guaranteed vision loss. Fortunately, that’s not the whole story. As we age, there are certain vision problems, like a gradual decline in nearsighted vision after age 40, and diseases, like glaucoma for people over 60, that become more common. But with regular eye screenings, many of these conditions can be treated or, in some cases, even prevented.


To help you embrace healthy vision this May–and throughout your lifetime–it’s important to know what’s true about your eyesight and also what’s within your control. On that note, book an eye exam online today to keep your eyes as healthy as can be.