Dr Oz: Shocking Health Myths Even Doctors Believe
There’s an old saying that if you repeat something enough times, you will begin to believe it. The same is probably true for anecdotal medical advice, passed down through generations without much concern for its veracity.
Today, The Dr Oz Show debunked some of the myths that are so prevalent in our healthcare system that even some doctors don’t know they’re not true. See for yourself what the real story is behind these common misconceptions, and get the real answers once and for all.
We all know that doctors are human too, and sometimes they make mistakes just like the rest of us. But when it comes to healthcare, the stakes are higher so the consequences can sometimes be much more dramatic than forgetting to pick up the dry cleaning.
Here are some of the myths that Doctor Oz said even physicians have fallen for. Many are based on Old Wives’ Tales passed through the years and put into practice. See which ones you’ve been told about.
Dr Oz: Can Reading in the Dark Damage Your Eyes?
Have you heard it said that reading in low light or reading in the dark is bad for your eyes? That’s a myth!
From the audience, Annette said she’s been told it causes eye strain. Doctors have warned patients about this for decades.
Dr. Oz said that your eye muscles will actually adapt to the available light. Just like any other muscles, they can be strained, which sometimes causes Bloodshot Eyes, but it won’t cause lasting damage. It’s not true that this burns your muscles, either.
Doctor Oz: Does Holding Your Head Back Stop a Nosebleed?
What’s your first instinct when you have a bloody nose? If you’ve heard that you should tip your head back, that is also a myth.
Though this myth relies on a belief that gravity will stop the bleeding, holding your head back is actually dangerous when you have a nosebleed.
Megan in the audience said she has chronic nosebleeds and was advised by her doctor to tilt her head back. Though this may work to stop the bleeding, Dr Oz said it’s not the best thing you can do in the situation.
Putting pressure on the nose is dangerous, because dry skin outside the nose can cause cracks on the inside. When you hold your head back, bleeding continues, and it has nowhere to go but down your throat, through the esophagus and into your stomach. This can irritate your stomach and cause vomiting.
Instead of tilting backwards, there is a better way to manage a bloody nose. Sit down, lean forward slightly, and apply pressure to the soft part of the nose for about five minutes. If it doesn’t work right away, keep squeezing for another 10 minutes to stop the bleeding.
Dr Oz: Do Cuts Need Oxygen Exposure To Heal?
Did your grandmother ever tell you not to bandage a cut, because it needs air to heal? This is another shocking health myth that’s been around for years. Even some doctors believed that cuts would heal faster when they weren’t bandaged, but Dr. Oz insists this isn’t true.
Audience member Cathy said that her two teen sons are constantly getting scrapes. She said she cleans the wounds, but lets them dry on their own. Dr Oz explained that if you don’t use a bandage, the body will make its own, in the form of a scab.
Scabs grow when dry air forces tissue apart, and this slows down the healing process. The best thing to do is bandage your wound, applying antibacterial ointment. This preserves a moist environment that helps tissue grow back in place instead of pulling apart. This leads to faster healing and recovery.
Dr Oz: Does Ice Help Burns?
If you’ve been told to treat a burn with ice, you’ve fallen prey to one more health myth. Applying ice can actually cause further tissue damage to the burned area.
In the audience, Carrie said she’s always used ice to treat burns, because that’s what her mom and her doctor taught her. But Dr Oz said you should not apply ice to any type of burn.
Ice on a would causes a chemical reaction resulting in more damage than the burn has already done. To reduce inflammation from a burn, put the burned skin in cold water for 20 minutes. Taking Ibuprofen is also recommended.
Dr Oz Burn Guide
- First Degree Burn – Skin is red
- Second Degree Burn – Skin blisters
- Third Degree Burn – Skin structure is lost