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Myth debunked: You should exercise your eyes

You might have heard that eye exercises are necessary and you just dread needing to exercise yet another part of your body. Don’t despair! While exercising the rest of your body is a good idea, it’s not necessary to exercise your eyes. 

As we age, it is normal for eyesight to deteriorate – it happens to everybody and exercising your eyes will not prevent that from happening. Eye exercises are only useful for certain particular conditions, but for the vast majority of people, we don’t worry about exercising or not exercising our eyes. Just use them normally and enjoy the view.

Another common myth is that eyesight can worsen if we read in dim light. Reading in the dark might make the eyes feel strained, however it does not worsen eyesight. Children can also see better in the dark and as we get older, our night vision does get worse. But this is due to the normal ageing process of the eyes and not caused by straining the eyes.

On the other hand, you might want to spend less time on a smartphone or computer screen, since studies show that children who spend a lot of time focusing with intensity for prolonged periods on short distances are more likely to develop nearsightedness.

Children should be encouraged to take regular breaks from any devices so that their eyes can focus on different distances.

For more myths about eyesight visit: https://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-30/six-things-you-believe-about-your-eyes-are-totally-wrong

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