Reading this, no matter how close you sit to the screen, can cause nothing more than eyestrain and possible neck pain. Contrary to what our parents may have told us growing up, sitting too close to the TV screen, and today it may be our computer screen, will not permanently affect our eyesight in any way. The fact is, as shown in the infographic below, people who spend an excessive amount of time staring at a screen will often blink less, which causes dry eyes, but does not change our vision.

Here are some facts and fiction that might surprise you about our eyes, vision and sight.

 

Staring directly at the sun for too long will make you go blind = FICTION

Whenever the media announces the occurrence of a solar eclipse, they always warn us not to look directly at the sun to avoid damaging your eyes, but some of our parents may have exaggerated this into the concept of going totally blind. While scientists agree that staring at the sun can cause damage, it is usually only temporary and it worse when the sun is high in the sky. Gazing at a beautiful rising or setting of the sun is much less harmful since the more dangerous short-wavelength light is absorbed by the atmosphere during this location lower on the horizon.

However, never look at the sun through binoculars or a telescope, as the focused light can cause damage very quickly.

 

The leading cause of blindness could have been prevented = FACT

Out of 80% of the world’s population that are blind, almost half of those who lost their sight could have been treated. The top three medical conditions that cause blindness include cataracts (almost 48%), glaucoma (over 12%) and age related macular degeneration (almost 9%). Although there is no known cure for glaucoma and we cannot stop the aging process that causes macular degeneration, minor surgery could have replaced cataracts if it was properly diagnosed and treated.

 

White cats with two different colored eyes are all deaf = FICTION

I once had a cat with two distinctively different colored eyes, yellow and blue, and practically everyone asked me if my kitty was deaf. While around 30% of cats with heterochromia iridium, the scientific term for an individual with two separate eye colors, do suffer from some hearing loss, it is actually more likely that a feline with orange eyes will be deaf.

 

More people have brown eyes than any other color = FACT

Brown is the most prevalent eye color in the world at 55% and green is the rarest shade at around 2% with instances of heterochromia iridium being extremely low at around 0.6% of the population with different colored eyes.

 

Squinting your eyes causes poor vision = FICTION

The practice of squinting may be a sign that you are in need of corrective lenses, but it does not damage your eyesight. Actually, closing one’s eyes partially is an attempt at making the pupil smaller and let in less light, according to Dr. Richard Rosen, director of ophthalmology research at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. Rather than decreasing your vision, the opposite is actually true as Dr. Rosen states, “By closing your lids together it further enhances your focus.”

Check out the infographic for some more popular myths about the amazing gift of eyesight. From eating carrots to reading in the dark, some things we were told as children simply don’t hold water anymore.

Myths About Eyes