We often do things that aren’t that great for our bodies because we don’t even know realize some of our daily activities are toxic. Sometimes, we know that something is harmful, like sitting for too long or not getting enough exercise, but we still do it because it’s a sacrifice we’re willing to make. The problem is that we don’t see how much harm we are doing until it’s too late, and our vision is usually among the most affected by our bad habits. So, here are some things that you might be doing that are damaging your eyes, without you even knowing it:
Staring at the screen
Yes, yes, you’re thinking: “But I know that screens aren’t good, this isn’t news!” However, the way we’ve been taught to think about screens and our eyes is wildly different from the truth. Looking at your screen doesn’t cause rapid deterioration of your eyesight nor will it cause a spike in your prescription, but the biggest issue here is – blinking. When we are looking at a screen, we don’t blink nearly as much, and our eyes get less lubrication. Also, when you’re staring straight at the screen in front of you, rather than looking down as you might when you’re reading a book, your eyes are less covered by your eyelid, and dryness leads to eyes that are sore and tired.
If you needed yet another reason why smoking is bad for you, on top of all the ones you probably know, how about that it is actively ruining your eyesight? It has been linked with macular degeneration – blurred vision with blind spots – an illness that is irreversible. Not to mention, it is associated with cataracts and blood vessel damage, all of which can lead to vision loss.
When you don’t go to your yearly (or semestral) visit to an optometrist, you are risking your eyesight far more than you might think. For starters, many people who need good prescription glasses aren’t at all aware that they need a pair. They think the way they see is just the way everyone sees. This leads to them spending years straining their eye muscles and causing more damage. And if you do wear glasses, be aware that your prescription isn’t forever. It changes, more often than you might think, and if you’ve been wearing the same glasses for a long time, you might be walking around with the wrong lenses.
Wearing contacts for too long
Contacts might help you see better during the day, but if you keep them on while you sleep, you’re causing more harm than good. And it’s not just going to make your vision a bit blurry in the morning; it is potentially introducing bacteria to your eyes. Without rinsing the lenses out, you’re risking infection that can seriously damage your eyes, in some cases to the point of vision loss. Yes, it happens to everyone once in a while, but try to make it a priority to take off your lenses before bed. As for the leave-in lenses, which you can wear for a week and toss them out afterwards, they carry an even greater risk of infection, so try to avoid them as much as possible, and only wear them in those situations where you don’t have the option to rinse your lenses, like on a hiking trip.
Rubbing your eyes
Sure, it feels good at the moment and you think you’re doing yourself a favour, but you’re potentially doing more harm than good. In extreme cases, you could scratch your cornea, which is extremely painful, but more often, you might make your allergies worse. If your eyes are stinging and itching because of allergies, rubbing them will only start a cycle of putting the allergens on your hands and back to your eyes, as well as introducing harmful bacteria along the way. When you have an itchy eye, try something like a cold press to ease the sensation.
Our eyes are one of the most important tools we have, and we have to take good care of them. Nobody is immune to sight issues, but it’s important to know what we can prevent and do our best to keep our eyes safe and healthy.