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The Myths of Optometry

The Myths of Optometry

Are you aware of some of the myths surrounding optometry? Many people tend to believe the wrong things about the doctors who chose this specialty. There are also some myths about the eye exam process and general eye care. We’ll clear up some of them here.

1) They Aren’t “Real” Doctors
This is a myth because it’s simply not true at all. An optometrist needs to go through medical school just like a standard physician. Their course of study will be quite different, due to their specialty, but this means that they are doctors all the same. On top of this, an optometrist can do more than just check your eyes and prescribe corrective lenses. They can diagnose certain diseases (one of the body, not just the eyes) based on the symptoms that appear in the eyes. Plus, the average optometrist can prescribe medications, including eye drops and oral medications that are required to treat a number of diseases. Many can even do minor procedures. There’s no shortage of things that an optometrist has in common with a “traditional” doctor.

2) You Need to Have Your Pupils Dilated Every Year
Normally, people go to the eye doctor under the assumption that their exam will end with pupil dilation. This test involves having eye drops placed in the eyes that enlarge the pupils so that the optometrist can look inside of them and check for signs of additional diseases. It’s commonly acknowledged that this test is done every single year, regardless of other factors, but this is actually one of the myths of optometry. If you are in good health, under the age of 50, and don’t have a family history of glaucoma or any other serious eye diseases, then this test doesn’t need to be done every year. However, depending on your age, any symptoms that you might be having, and your family history, it might. Plus, some of the diseases that the optometrist looks for when they dilate your pupils can be checked in other ways.

3) 20/20 Vision Is Perfect
In the past, people tended to believe that having 20/20 vision meant that their vision was perfect. The common phrase was “I don’t need glasses. I have 20/20 vision.” If they needed vision correcting, then that was the goal. There’s a problem with this. Standard 20/20 vision means that you can see at 20 feet what other people can see from that same distance. It doesn’t mean that you can read clearly without corrective lenses, that you can see all of the colors in the spectrum perfectly, or that your eyes coordinate and focus as they should. 20/20 isn’t the only answer.

4) Carrots Will Improve Your Vision Better Than Corrective Lenses
Now, this is a myth that many children hear on a regular basis. “Eat your carrots. They’ll make you see better,” is the standard way of putting it. Even though carrots have a large amount of beta-carotene, which can help your vision, this doesn’t mean that eating plenty of it will make things improve. You’ll still need those corrective lenses.

Contact us today at Dr. Nicholas Rutkowski and Associates to learn more about how we can help you with more than just eyesight!