Fact, fiction, or old wives’ remedies

Fact, fiction, or old wives’ remedies

We are familiar with the word fact but what about fiction and old wives’ remedies? The Merriam-Webster dictionary gave the simplest explanation that fiction is “something invented by the imagination” and of an old-wives’ remedy it stated it’s “an often-traditional belief that is not based on fact”.  So, what’s that got to do with my eyes, you may ask? There are a few of these so-called myths that circulate the world of optometry – so let’s take a look at the most common ones.


CarrotsThe Vitamin A in carrots is certainly healthy and can enhance night vision but don’t expect bunches of carrots to improve your vision. I always emphasise that a balanced, nutritious diet of vitamins and minerals is beneficial for eye health 

Delaying wearing corrective eyewearDeclining Eye Sight

You may have been told that wearing glasses or contact lenses can worsen your eyesight prematurely. This is far from the truth. Corrective eyewear cannot hinder nor can it correct declining eyesight. Prescription glasses or contact lenses will simply help you see better – they will not change the shape of your eyes. Declining eyesight  is a perfectly normal process.


Gentle eye treatments

These include techniques such as massaging closed eyes with the palms of your hands, hot and cold compresses, mud packs – and so on. These are good relaxation practices and are recommended for eye strain but there’s no evidence that they will improve your eyesight.

Eye exercises

Long periods of tedious eye workouts will help strengthen the muscles around the eyes and can help your brain and your eyes work better together; and possibly help you see better – but this is unproven. Once you overcome the realisation that your eyes need help it’s so much easier to settle for prescription eyewear.

There are many theories and suggestions, but the only proven method is to get advice from an optometrist. You’ll be asked about your lifestyle choices – and a thorough examination will reveal, scientifically, the condition of your eyes and your eyesight. Your optometrist is there to help you keep your eyes healthy – trust him/her.

“Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm – not all…” Bill Gates.

I’m sure there are many more ‘stories’ to tell. If you have any myths or old wives’ remedies to share, please send them to us at: overport@visionworksoptom.co.za and please indicate that you’d be happy for us to post them on our blog.

Let your eye care journey start with us.

Let your eye care journey start with us.

"The Visonworks Overport Team"

We are available for eye emergencies and advise.


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