4 Habits That May Harm Your Eye Health
Though some of the old adages about eye health still hold true (you still shouldn’t sit so close to the television), there are a few modern habits that could harm your eyes, as well. Your vision, and your eyes, are precious. To keep from hurting your eyes, avoid these bad habits.
1. Poor Contact Lens Handling
A recent report by the CDC found that 33% of adults and 30% of adolescents sleep while wearing contact lenses. And while 27% of adolescents reported that they swim in their contacts, more than 54% of adults admitted to not replacing lenses as often as prescribed. Poor handling of contact lenses can result in unnecessary irritation in your eyes, as well as exposure to infectious germs.
To stay ahead of potential problems with contacts, here are some better eye health habits to pick up:
- Replace your contacts as prescribed. It’s true that contact lenses come in a variety of different makes and styles, so some brands may need to be replaced less often than others. Be sure to follow your Doctor’s advice and manufacturer directions on replacing your lenses at appropriate times.
- Be wary of water. Swimming, bathing, or showering with your contacts in can increase your risk of germ exposure. These germs can enter your eye (even behind your contacts) and cause inflammation or infection. Whenever possible, remove your contacts before prolonged contact with water.
- Replace your contact lens case regularly. Because they’re dark and wet, contact cases can be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Get a new case every few weeks, and be sure to fill it only with a contact lens solution recommended by your optometrist – never fill it with water.
2. Physical Eye Contact
While rubbing your eyes first thing in the morning or after staring at your computer screen can feel good, you could be causing damage. Rubbing your eyes too hard can cause tiny blood vessels called capillaries to rupture. Rubbing your eyes with dirty or unwashed hands can also transfer bacteria. And if your eyes are already irritated, rubbing them could make the problem worse instead of better.
Some studies suggest that the average person touches their face as many as 16 times an hour. The next time the urge to rub your eyes hits, try rubbing around your eyes with clean hands. And always avoid touching your eyes directly.
3. Removing Eyelashes
Maintaining great eyebrow shape is a part of most beauty regimens. But plucking eyelashes can leave your eyes at risk for the introduction of foreign objects. Your eyelashes protect the surface of your eyes by acting as a barrier against dirt, dust, and other debris. The more eyelashes you remove; the less protection your eye has against airborne particles.
While some people choose to pluck eyelashes as a part of a beauty routine, others do so compulsively due to stress or anxiety. If this is the case, reducing your stress level or anxiety can help you curb this bad habit.
4. Ignoring Eye Protection
If the Great American Eclipse of 2017 taught us anything, it’s that eye health is still important to most Americans. Hundreds of thousands of special eclipse viewing glasses were sold prior to the eclipse. But keeping your eyes safe during potentially dangerous activity or while outside in the sunlight is just as important.
Whenever you’re doing physical activity with machines or power tools, protecting your eyes is paramount. Though they may not be as fashionable as your regular prescription frames, a quality pair of protective lenses could make all the difference in case of an accident. Activities like welding or metalworking require special eye protection. Be sure keep up with the necessary eye protection before beginning new projects around the house or on the job.
UV radiation from the sun’s rays can be more dangerous than you may think – even during the autumn and winter months. A quality pair of sunglasses that are UV rated will help you avoid unnecessary eye exposure to the sun’s rays. If you wear prescription lenses, you should have a second pair of prescription sunglasses. Likewise, a pair of quality sunglasses that go over your regular prescription frames can be just as effective.
Another positive habit for eye health is a yearly visit to an optometrist. Schedule your appointment today with one of our Independent Doctors of Optometry and let Naples Optical redefine your view! Call our downtown location at 239.263.6677 or our location just off I-75 and Pine Ridge at 239.353.8794.