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A weekly show where we debunk common misconceptions. This week, Elliott discusses some misconceptions about your eyes!
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Hi guys it's Elliott and today I'm gonna talk about some misconceptions about your eyes, OK. Right here, stay with me.

[intro play]

Misconception number one: reading in the dark is bad for your eyes. Optometry experts don't tend to take issue with this practice, the eye fatigue might give you a headache, but there's no scientific evidence proving that reading in the dark is bad for your eyes. Although it's worth mentioning that there haven't been any long-term studies about this specific phenomenon, many studies about eye ability have determined that it's primarily genetic though environment probably have a role, too. And one study conducted in Australia found that children who spend a lot of time indoors were more likely to develop shortsightedness than children who played outdoors more often.  So daylight may be good for your eyes, but experts don't think that reading in the dark is bad for your eyes.

Misconception number two: sitting too close to the TV is bad for your eyes. Nah guys, you can be as close as you want, OK? Just like reading in the dark, the most it will probably do is give you a headache. This used to be true because the first televisions actually emitted x-rays that might have caused eye problems, but modern flat-panel TVs physically cannot produce x-rays and older CRT monitors have so many protections built in they're safe as well. There is something known as computer vision syndrome. This is when you look at your computer, tablet, or cellphone for too long, it can cause blurred vision and other eye strain. In most cases CVS is temporary but sometimes it can develop and become an ongoing problems. And sometimes you gotta go to CVS because you ran out of contact solution.

Misconception number three: carrots can improve your eyesight. This is a very simplified version of the truth. Basically, carrots contain beta keratin which your body uses to make vitamin A and good eyesight is dependant on vitamin A, but you only need to consume a very little amount of it. you can also get it from other foods like cheese or milk, it's a total myth that eating carrots will give you better vision

Misconception number four: wearing contacts or glasses makes your eyesight worse. If you wear contacts or glasses, you might wonder why you consistently need a stronger and stronger prescription and you might blame that on your vision becoming worse because you wear corrective lenses. Not true! It's probably just because you're aging.

Misconception number five: if you cross your eyes too much, they'll get stuck that way. Not true, mom! As it turns out, the muscles that you use to cross your eyes are the same muscles that you use to move your eyes from right to left. So if you needed to worry about them getting stuck crossed then you need to worry about them getting stuck when looking in any direction. That'd be terrifying.

Misconception number six: it's possible to outgrow strabismus. Strabismus is the medical term for what most people call a lazy eye or crossed eyes. According to the American Optometric Associations "[Strabismus is] a condition in which both eyes do not look at the same place at the same time. It occurs when an eye turns in, out, up, or down and is usually caused by poor eye muscle control or a high amount of farsightedness." A lot of parents are told that their children will outgrow strabismus but after the age of four months it's a condition that needs to be treated or it could get worse.

Misconception number seven: Surgery cures glaucoma. Glaucoma is a damaged optic nerve and there are a lot of different treatments for it including medications and surgery. Those can help protect the vision that the person still has, but neither medications nor surgery will be able to restore the parts of the optic nerve that have already been damaged.

Misconception number eight: A contact lens can get caught behind your eye. This, thank goodness, is physically impossible. Your eye has something known as the conjunctiva which is the lining of the white of your eyes and your eyelids and that means that those two things connect so a contact can't sneak behind your eye. If you feel like a contact is back there, it;s probably stuck to your eyelid or you're going crazy.

Misconception number nine: cataracts can be fixed with lasers. This is kind of a misconception based on a misconception. Some people think cataracts grow on the outside of the eye so they can be removed with a laser. Cataracts are actually clouding within the lens of the eye so there is a laser technology that can soften the cataract, but in order to remove them, a surgeon actually needs to go into the eye's lens with a tool, not a laser, then an artificial lens replaces the old one.

Misconception number ten: Eye transplants exist. At this point in time, only cornea transplants are possible but scientists are working on whole eye transplants. The reason this is such a difficult procedure is largely due to the nerve generation required to make it possible. Experts in the field are working on it, but an eye transplant won't be attempted anytime soon.

Guys, thank you for watching Misconceptions on Mental_Floss video, if you have a topic for an upcoming misconceptions episode that you'd like to see, leave it in the comments below and I will... see it. And I will see you next week.