1. NO SHADES
Sunglasses won’t just make you look good. Exposing your bare eyes to the sun is actually one of the most common things that damage your eyesight, and it can have pretty serious consequences. For absolute protection, always rock a wide-brimmed hat and shades while you’re in the sun. To be useful, you’ll want sunglasses that offer UV blocking, which is usually printed on a sticker attached to the lenses.100% protection is standard these days, so don’t settle for a lower figure.They may cost a little more than glasses that only offer 50% protection, but UV rays are known to increase the risk of cataracts, damage the retina and increase your risk of getting skin cancer on your eyelids, so it’s well worth the extra cost.
2. DROP HAPPY
If you regularly use eye drops, you probably think that you are keeping your eyes in great condition. Whitening drops, for example, often look just the same as medicine, and have the added benefit of making your eyes look white and healthy. No risk, right? Wrong. Drops that reduce the redness in your eyes do so by restricting blood vessels temporarily that’s why your eyes will appear redder than ever when the effect wears off, and the blood vessels dilate. Definitely don’t make using whitening drops a habit.
3. DRY EYES
Many of the UK population suffer from moderate to severe ocular dryness, or dry eyes. The condition is easily treated using lubricating eye drops, most of them can be picked up from any supermarket or drugstore. The problem? These eye drops are often absolutely packed with preservatives, to stop them from going off as soon as you open the package. These preservatives can actually irritate the eyes and make the condition worse. Instead, opt for eye drops that come in individual blisters. One blister equals one application, which means that you can be sure both that you’ve used the right amount and that there is no unnecessary chemicals. If your eyes are itchy, try putting the drops in the fridge, first. The coolness will soothe your eyes.
4. SCREEN TIME
Blinking is the way that the eyes hydrate themselves. When you blink, the eyes distribute fluid throughout themselves, which stops them from drying out. When you look at a screen, though, your blinking rate dramatically slows down. It leads to tears evaporating, vision becoming smeary, and even causes eyes to burn and water. When you consider this, it’s no wonder that the amount of people with dry eyes is drastically increasing.
Staring at your smartphone doesn’t do any good to your eyes either.
Straining to read the tiny text on your cell phone may be the reason your eyes hurt day after day — especially if you’re doing this for hours on end. It could also lead to blurred vision, dry eyes, dizziness, and nausea. Put down your phone every 20 minutes to give your eyes a break. Or, even better, make the font on your phone bigger so your eyes aren’t working over time to read that tiny Facebook post. The solution? Make it an absolute habit to look away from your screen regularly. Focus on something far away, that isn’t a screen.
5. CONTACT LENS CHAOS
Do you wear contact lenses?
Most opticians make sure that their customers know to change their cleaning fluid regularly and never to rinse contacts with water or moisten them in your mouth, but other than that, aftercare can vary. Did you know, for example, that you shouldn’t wear contact lenses in the shower, hot tubs, swimming pools or the sea? You should also take them out before bed, to make sure that your eyes get enough oxygen during the night.
Don’t be tempted to buy online without seeing an optician regularly, too.
The fit of your contact lenses can easily change, and wearing the wrong fit leads to the lense becoming a ‘suction cup’, which can then scratch the cornea. One scratch is enough to let bad bacteria into the eye, and risk serious infections.
Look after your contacts!
6. GRAB SOME GOGGLES!
Hitting the pool?
Grab some goggles to stop pool chemicals from going in your eyes.
Likewise if you are doing anything that releases chemicals or could result in debris hitting you.
Gardening can be harmful to the eyes because of the dirt that can be disturbed during weeding, mowing the lawn and planting. Dirt and dust molecules can cause irritation and may even scratch the cornea of the eye. Protective eyewear is a must. Also be really careful that nothing can hit you in the eyes, because that’s the leading cause of cornea abrasions.
There was a case recorded such like this one: once I sat in A&E next to a boy who had been hit in the eye with a piece of pepperoni from his pizza.It was boiling hot, and resulted in a badly burnt eye.
7. RUBBING YOUR EYES
As tempting as it may be, it’s a big no-no. Rubbing them too hard can break the blood vessels under the eyelids. So to soothe irritated eyes, try a cold compress instead.
8. NOT EATING A WELL BALANCED DIET
Yes — diet and nutrition matter. In fact, some fruits and vegetables are crucial for optimum eye health, especially ones with vitamins C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. The AAO suggests adding citrus fruits, vegetables oils, nuts, whole grains, leafy greens, and fish to your meals as much as possible.
Even more important? Water. Staying hydrated is key for tear production and keeping eyes well-lubricated. Also, make sure to skip foods high in sodium, which can dehydrate your body.
9. MISUSING EYE MAKE UP
Anything you put near your eye is a potential risk. And yes, this includes your mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, and eye creams. So make sure to apply makeup far away from your lash line so you don’t block the oil glands of your lids — a build up here can cause infections. Also, throw away your eye makeup after three months. Bacteria loves to grow in dark, damp places, so your mascara could be a breeding ground to some nasty infections.
10. NOT GETTING ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep deprivation can lead to a number of problems, including weight gain, depression, and decreased immune function. Moreover, a lack of sleep is also hurting your eyes (some symptoms include twitching, dry eyes, blurry vision, and pain). Be sure to get a minimum of seven hours a night and remember, put down that smartphone before bed.
11. WATCHING TV AT NIGHT
In fact, looking at any type of screen right before bed in the dark, including your cell phone, e-reader, television, and computer, is bad for you. The levels of light are changing rapidly, so your eyes have to work hard to process the changes, which can lead to eyestrain, pain, headaches, dry eye, and redness.
Not only is it trickier to see through clouds of smoke 🙂 , cancer sticks have a blinding internal impact as well. Smoking ups your risk of losing your eyesight fourfold and even if you swerve complete vision loss, the chemicals you’re inhaling make you three times more likely to develop cataracts, according to a Harvard University study.
Your daily bag of cheese and onion offers a double-whammy of salt and omega-6 oils, which dry your eyes out and make them more irritable. Sodium-rich diets are dehydrating, which means less water flowing across your eyes, while the oils make your tears evaporate faster so they offer less protection.
14. FOAM PARTIES
On your next Balearic jaunt, turn a blind eye to the guy handing out foam party flyers. Yes, it’s a way to get an eyeful of soap-drenched summer bodies. But it’s also your ticket to conjunctivitis and eye infections from the chemicals that keep the foam fluffy – not to mention rogue fingers emerging unseen from the suds.
15. NEGLECTING YOUR EYES
This may be one of the most obvious things that damage eyesight, but it’s worth saying again. If your vision changes, see a doctor.
Flashing lights, pain, fuzzy vision, redness or light sensitivity can all be signs of problems, and they may not disappear on their own. It’s really hard to diagnose yourself, too. Floaters can just be a sign of tiredness, but they can also indicate a detaching retina. Nobody can tell you without looking, so don’t wait and see if it goes away. Delaying help for vision problems requires more complex surgeries, and decreases the chance of a full recovery.So, now that you know the top things that damage eyesight unintentionally, you can take better care of your eyes. While you’re at it, check when your last ophthalmologist appointment was.
Vision tests are important, so get one booked!