Despite warnings issued by concerned mothers to their children, sitting too close to the television or computer screen does not harm vision. However, the FDA would like to point out that smoking is a major risk for developing “age-related macular degeneration” (AMD), which destroys sharp, central vision. Other risk factors for AMD include genetics, diet, bright sunlight exposure, heart disease, and high blood pressure. The FDA also warns against wearing decorative contact lenses, which unscrupulous vendors may be selling over the Internet as “cosmetics” to buyers without a prescription. Wearing decorative lenses raises the risk of sustaining potentially serious eye damage. Finally, the FDA warns that laser pointers and toys with lasers can cause permanent eye damage. Routine eye exams can detect vision problems, eye disease and general health problems before you are aware a problem exists. Eye doctors use a wide variety of tests and procedures to examine your eyes. These tests range from simple ones, like having you read an eye chart, to complex tests, such as using a high-powered lens to visualize the tiny structures inside of your eyes. If a child is sitting too close to a television or computer screen or is holding a book too close to his or her face, it may be a sign that an eye exam and prescription eyeglasses or contacts may be beneficial.