Your eyes are the most precious sense that you need to take good care of. You may not be realising that a lot of seemingly harmless habits could be negatively affecting your vision. Let’s find out the things that you are doing every day that can be potentially hurting your eyes and how to avoid them.
Staring at screens for long hours
Staring at computer, tablet or smartphone screens for long hours can hurt your eyes. Not blinking enough from too much screen time can dry out your eyes. The blue light emitted from the screens can also decrease contrast, leading to digital eyestrain. Give your eyes a break by practising the 20-20-20 rule, which calls for you to look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds and look instead at an object that is at least 20 feet away.
Rubbing the eyes
Itchy eyes are irritating, but the problems are made worse by rubbing the eyes. Your hands pick up germs than any other part of your body. When you rub your eye, these germs are easily transferred and can often cause infections. Eye rubbing also causes tiny blood vessels to break which in turn results in blood-shoot eyes. A warm compress may help soothe your sore, irritated eyes.
Misusing eye makeup
Eye cosmetics are usually safe to use, but the improper application can cause infections or allergic reactions. Applying mascara, eye shadow or eyeliner too near your lash line can block oil glands, causing a buildup that can result in infections. Be sure to remove your eye makeup properly before going to bed.
Not wearing the right sunglasses
Are you wearing sunglasses to cut down on glare or to look cool? Much like your skin, your eyes need to be protected from the sun’s harmful UV rays, even on cloudy days. If you spend long hours outdoors, choosing a good pair of UV-blocking shades is the most important thing you can do to protect your eyes.
Overusing eye drops
While the dry eyes are momentarily soothed, overuse of eye drops can actually do more harm than good in the long term. Most over-the-counter artificial tears contain preservatives that may damage the surface of your cornea and produce symptoms similar to dry eyes if used multiple times throughout the day. If you are using prescription eyedrops, be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
Staring directly at the sun
Staring directly at the sun is bad for your eyes. Not only it will give you headache and vision distortion, but also can cause permanent damage to your retina. It is especially dangerous to view the sun with your naked eyes during the eclipse. The brightness of the sun is hidden, but the harmful rays are in full force. Never to look directly at the sun!
Smoking affects almost every aspect of your body including your eyes. Studies show smoking increases the risk of eye disorders like macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome, cataracts and diabetic retinopathy. It is thought that smokers are up to four times more likely than non-smokers to lose vision later in life. So, quit smoking!
Not eating a balanced diet
A significant part of taking care of your eyes is eating a balanced, healthy diet. Much like the rest of your body, your eyes also need nutrients. Choose food rich with lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-carotene and omega-3 fatty acids.
Not drinking enough water
Dry eyes, red eyes and puffy eyelids can all be a result of dehydration. When you are dehydrated, your eyes produce less tears. Without adequate moisture, your eyes become dry, itchy and uncomfortable. Be sure to drink enough water to stay hydrated.
Skimping on sleep
It is called beauty sleep for a reason. Insufficient sleep can adversely affect your vision. When you do not get enough sleep, your eyes can feel strained, dry and itchy the next day. You can also get unsightly dark circles under your eyes. Get off your gadgets and get a good night’s sleep.
Prevention is better than cure. Be sure to avoid practising these bad habits in order to safeguard your eyes from injury or any forms of hazards. Always take good care of your eyes to keep your vision well into your golden years. It is a good idea to schedule an appointment with your eye doctor right away if you experience any eye problems.