A trip to your eye doctor’s office will leave you with information about your vision quality and current eye health. What isn’t usually part of the visit are how some day-to-day eye care tips might (or might not) affect your vision.

Popular eye care myths frequently get repeated and mixed along with legitimate facts about eye health. Other serious risks are brushed off due to the frequency of people doing them; sleeping in contacts can’t be that bad, can it?

Here are some eye care tips besides your vision your eye doctor would like to clear up for you.

Love to Read and Need Glasses?
Avid readers who also need glasses might blame their books for their eyewear. This is understandable because the stereotype of the smart bookworm with thick-framed eyeglasses exists. Reading a lot and reading under poor lighting conditions are often held liable when one needs vision correction. But it is (mostly) a myth.

Reading in dim lighting doesn’t cause permanent vision problems. It may result in eye strain, but any discomfort you might get, like dry or watery eyes, should subside after you stop the activity. Although you should always strive to read in a well-lit environment, temporarily doing so won’t cause long-term vision problems.

However, although there are several factors that go into whether or not one needs glasses, such as genetics, one of them is time spent reading. There is a link between people who read a lot and the prevalence of myopia. Nearsightedness isn’t only limited to readers; it is often seen when the person does close work frequently, such as using a computer or doing crafts like sewing.

Although a direct cause hasn’t been pinpointed (not everyone who does these activities is nearsighted), it has been speculated that it is partially due to the way the eye contracts while focusing on near objects. To see the print in a book, the eyeball stretches out and physically becomes longer. It may be that nearsightedness develops when the eye has to hold this position for long periods of time.

Read Your Contact Lens Instructions
Reading the usage directions on your package of contact lenses is important for your vision and eye health. Cleaning your contacts and taking them out at the right time is necessary to prevent eye infections and irritation, both of which stop you from wearing your lenses at all.

Depending on what material your contacts are made out of, they are all created to be worn for a specific length of time. Some are to be disposed of daily while others can be used for weeks with proper cleaning.

What the box doesn’t say is that you should never sleep in contact lenses, despite which material they are made from, with the exception of gas permeable lenses. Sleeping in contact lenses can create a condition called corneal neovascularization. The contact lens prevents oxygen from getting to the eye which forces the vessels to grow in an attempt to gain more air. In severe cases, it can permanently prevent you from ever being able to wear contacts again. Wearing them to bed, when you can’t see anything but dreams anyway, isn’t worth the risk.

Paper Products for Cleaning Glasses
Dirty lenses are annoying to see through so keeping your glasses clean is vital for good vision. However, most items you would think to use to clean your lenses actually should never go near them. Paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues are particularly bad. Although these items are usually associated with cleaning around the house, they are poor for washing glasses. Paper products are made from wood and are abrasive to your glasses, even those super-soft tissues. This quality, which makes them good for cleaning dirt, is terrible for the sensitive lenses of glasses. If your lenses are damaged, your vision will be impaired until you get the glasses repaired.

None of these eye care tips are secret, but keeping them in plain sight will preserve the quality of your glasses, contacts, and vision.

Eye Care Tips – Related Posts
Vision Exams and Eye Health
Why It’s Important to Blink Your Eyes
Eat for your Eyesight?