We all have bad habits. And the problem is we sometimes don’t even know we’re doing them. But whether we know it or not we all frequently engage in habits that negatively affect the health of our eyes and compromise the quality of our vision. Here are 5 unhealthy habits that negatively affect your vision. Know and avoid them to keep optimal eye health and vision capability.
Smoking greatly increases your risk of eye diseases including glaucoma (damage to the eye’s optic nerve), cataracts (clouding of the lens), and dry eye syndrome. Smoking damages your eye tissue and is the largest risk factor for age-related macular degeneration (vision loss). The more you smoke, the more you are prone to developing macular degeneration. In addition, people who live with you are two times more at risk of developing this disease. Needless to say, smoking has many other adverse health effects, including lung cancer and heart disease. Quitting smoking may be hard, but it’s harder still on your health – and your eyes – if you don’t.
Doctors recommend that every adult gets 7-8 of hours sleep every night; children need 9-11. Your eyes need this time to rest. Anything less and your eyes can suffer irritation, or eye strain, dryness or spasms. If you experience these symptoms, or if your eyes are red, sore or heavy, cut down on your workload and get a good couple of nights sleep to rest your eyes. If the symptoms persist go and see an optometrist right away. We all know that exercise and nutrition are vital for good health, but sleep is just as important. Don’t deprive your eyes of the rest they need to relax and revitalise.
NOT WEARING SUNGLASSES
Many people are still unaware that the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) rays not only hurt your skin, but your eyes as well. Always wear UV-blocking sunglasses, even on a cloudy day. Wear them when you’re walking, driving, on the beach, in the water, even when you’re sitting in the shade. Children are at a greater risk than adults. Keep children younger than six months out of direct sunlight, and ensure children of all ages wear sunglasses when outside. UV radiation is a risk factor in the development of cataracts and macular degeneration, and while these diseases often take many years to develop, it is important to care for your eyes on a daily basis to forestall any risk to your vision.
RUBBING YOUR EYES
Don’t rub your eyes. Even just scratching a random itch can be dangerous if you’re not careful. Eye irritations from lack of sleep or allergies are common. To alleviate dry eyes, itchiness, or irritation, try placing a cold compress over your eyes or use moisturising eye drops. If you must rub your eyes, always make sure you wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before touching your eyes.
NOT EATING PROPERLY
What you eat is directly linked to the health of your eyes. Ensure you are including enough fruits and vegetables into your daily diet to get the essential vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids necessary for optimum eye health. A diet rich in leafy greens, fresh fruit and vegetables, and fish like salmon are all essential to keeping your vision healthy. Eating properly can help prevent or manage many age-related eye diseases.
Acquiring knowledge and applying understanding can correct these bad habits. In addition, early detection of problems, through regular and complete eye exams, is essential to protecting your vision. Comprehensive eye exams can detect vision problems, eye diseases, and general health issues before you even realised they were there. The key to good eyesight is proper eye care so having regular check ups is vital. Contact iSight Optometry to book your next eye appointment.