Unless you have problems with your vision, seeing is something we usually just take for granted. But, there are several things you’re probably doing that could be hurting your eyes. Want to keep your peepers in prime health? Avoid doing these 10 things!
1. Too much screen time
Staring at screens for too long was definitely something our ancestors didn’t have to worry about. But, these days, we spend most of our waking hours looking at our phones, computers, or TVs. The reason it’s bad for you? When you’re staring at a screen, you’re probably not blinking as much as you should be. This causes your eyes to dry out and become irritated. Even worse? When you’re looking at screens in dim lighting - this causes even more strain on your eyes.
You most likely can’t avoid looking at screens completely, so try the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away, for 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break. You could also always try limiting your screen time as well.
2. Not getting enough sleep
Aside from this wreaking havoc on every area of your life, not getting enough shut-eye could result in itchy, red, or super puffy eyes. Most experts recommend around 8 hours a night (give or take), so try to get your beauty rest!
3. Eating unhealthy foods
It’s not like eating a couple of burgers is going to damage your vision. However, if you eat the right foods, you could end up protecting your vision in the long run. Make sure your diet has plenty of foods with vitamins C and E, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids (found in foods like leafy greens, seafood, fruits, and veggies) that help to keep your eyes healthy.
There’s pretty much no area of your body that smoking doesn’t cause extreme and irreparable damage to - and your eyes are no exception. Smoking could result in the development of severe vision disorders that could lead to blindness! So, quit now!
5. Not drinking enough water
Although some experts are saying you don’t really need the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, it is extremely important to stay hydrated. If you’re dehydrated, you’re more likely to experience dry and itchy eyes.
6. Skipping sunglasses
It’s crucial to protect your eyes from UV rays (just like you wear sunscreen to protect your skin). Make sure to wear them any time you’ll be outside - even if it’s cloudy! And when you’re buying sunglasses, check to be sure they’re strong enough to block UV rays (there’s usually a sticker on the lenses that says so).
7. Rubbing your eyes
Rubbing your eyes is a bad habit that you might not even be aware that you’re doing. Even if your eyes itch, rubbing them will only worsen the problem. You could end up putting too much pressure on your eyes or scratching them. Instead, apply a cold washcloth to relieve the itching feeling. However, if you have something stuck in your eye, try rinsing it out with water first. If that doesn’t work, go to your eye doctor right away.
8. Forgetting protective eyewear
Anytime you’re exposing your eyes to chemicals, you’re putting them at risk. Even seemingly safe activities like swimming, cleaning with chemicals, or working on your car could result in eye injuries. Wear safety glasses if there’s any chance you need protection.
9. Leading an unhealthy life
Eating an unbalanced diet, skimping on exercise, or smoking could all lead to serious health issues like high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes. Conditions like these can also have extreme effects on your vision - even leading to complete vision loss! Try to lead a healthier lifestyle to ensure that your eyes will be protected for a long time to come.
10. Not going to the eye doctor
Of course everyone hates going to the doctor. But, skipping these appointments could mean you’re putting your vision in jeopardy. Regular checkups at the eye doctor (at least once a year) will mean that you’re getting checked to make sure your eyes are in good condition and that your prescriptions are up to date if you wear contacts or glasses.
So, quit these 10 habits today, and your eyes will thank you!