We all have bad habits, but we don’t always know we’re doing them. But whether we know it or not, frequently engaging in habits that negatively affect the health of our eyes can compromise the quality of our vision. To help you get started, here are 13 unhealthy eye care habits that negatively affect your vision. Knowing what they are is a step towards keeping optimal, healthy vision.
1. Rubbing Your Eyes
The skin around your eyes is one of the most sensitive areas on your face, and first to show signs of aging. Rubbing your eyes can easily break tiny blood vessels under the skin’s surface and cause dark circles, premature crow’s feet and drooping eyelids. Soothe irritated eyes with a cold compress instead.
2. Forgetting Your Sunglasses
The sun’s harmful UV and HEV rays result in premature aging and damage to the eye and eyelids. Extended exposure without protection can also lead to sunburn of the front surface of the eye, cataracts, macular degeneration, pingucula, and pterygium. Wear your sunglasses to minimize the effects of bright lights and excessive squinting, and to block harmful UV rays.
Smoking wreaks havoc on your health – including your eyes. It can cause cataracts, macular degeneration, uveitis, dry eyes, and diabetic retinopathy.
4. Eating Poorly
Not eating a well-balanced diet can deprive your body of necessary vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids for optimum eye health. Fruits and vegetables, especially ones with vitamin C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids, can help prevent and manage many age-related eye diseases.
5. Not Drinking Enough Water
Dehydration can negatively affect vision health. Not getting the recommended eight glasses of water a day can cause your body to not produce enough tears to keep your eyes moist and properly nourished. As a result, dehydration can cause dryness, redness, and puffy eyelids in eyes.
6. Sleeping with Your Contacts In
It’s late and you’re tired. But that’s no excuse for not taking your contacts out before bed. Sleeping with your contacts in increases your risk of infection, and it could lead to permanent eye damage. Make sure to wash your hands clean and use extra contact solution.
7. Not Getting Enough Sleep
Sleep deprivation can accelerate aging, and increase your risk of eye damage such as twitching, dry eyes, red eyes, blurry visions, and pain. Be sure to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night to improve your eye care.
8. Reading at Night in Poor Lighting
Reading in bed is a great way to unwind and relax before bed. However, if your book or tablet is not properly lit, it can cause eye strain.
9. Watching TV at Night
Any electronic device usage before bed can lead to eyestrain, pain, headaches, dry eye, and redness. The levels of light changes rapidly, forcing your eyes to work harder to process the changes and refocus.
10. Staring at Your Smartphone or Computer
Digital screens affect vision through repetition. When you stare at a smartphone or computer screen, it requires the eyes to readjust and realign what you are seeing. This requires significant effort from eye muscles and adds more strain due to fluctuations in contrast, flicker and glare. Excessive time spent looking at screens can lead to what’s referred to as “Computer vision syndrome.”
11. Bad Makeup Hygiene
Anything you put near your eyes is a potential risk for causing eye infections and bacteria. This includes your mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, and eye creams. Keep your makeup tools (including brushes) clean and never share your eye makeup with others. Also throw away your eye makeup every three months and remove your makeup before bed.
12. Overuse of Eye Drops
The most common side effects of eye drops come in general misuse. Many eye drops are not suitable for everyday use because they contain specific ingredients to relieve specific irritations and side effects. To prevent this, visit your eye doctor to discuss which eye drops would be best suited for you and your eye care needs.
13. Not Going to an Eye Doctor Regularly
Even if you do not wear glasses or contacts, you should still schedule regular eye check-ups with an optometrist, or an ophthalmologist for more serious eye care concerns. A complete eye exam is recommended every five to 10 years for those between the ages of 20 and 39, and every two to four years for those over 40.
Located in Orange County, Dr. Ghosheh and the team at Advanced Eye Medical can assist you with all eye care services and your eye-related health needs. Contact us today!