Your eyes are some of the most important organs in your entire body — and for obvious reasons. We often don’t appreciate the function of our eyes until we start losing our vision — and more often than not, it’s because we practice a wide variety of poor eye health habits.

In this blog, the Alexandria eye doctors at Sina J. Sabet MD will take a look at the worst habits for your eyes, and give you options for what you can do to eliminate these bad habits and protect your eyes for years to come!  

5 Worst Habits For Your Eyes

You keep your contacts in for too long

Contacts are a useful visual tool that can help you see better while driving, playing sports, or any other situation where glass could be a nuisance or get damaged. However, glasses are not, contrary to popular belief, meant for all-day, everyday use. Contacts constrict the flow of oxygen to the eye and can cause irritation or the eye’s surface, leading to irritation and corneal damage. Plus, wearing contacts for too long or too often can lead to eye fatigue and strain.

To combat this common problem, get a pair of glasses for after-work use — or if you work in an office setting and spend a lot of time in front of a computer screen, get a pair of eyeglasses that are meant for computer-distance usage so you get work done and make sure your corneas are properly oxygenated. Your eyes will feel more refreshed, and you’ll decrease the risk of vision-related problems down the road.

You rub your eyes often

We all get itchy eyes from time to time, whether it’s because of indoor pollutants, allergies, contact lenses, or dry air. Whatever the case, rubbing your eyes can damage the eye’s surface and spread germs and bacteria. During this time of year, rubbing your eyes could be the reason you end up getting a killer strain of the flu.

If your eyes are itchy and the itch won’t go away, try placing some cold compresses on your eyes for a few minutes to help them relax. Don’t use a warm or hot compress — this can make problems worse by increasing eye discharge and in turn, irritation. If your eyes are constantly itchy, it might be worth seeing your eye doctor to see what’s going on.

You don’t wear sunglasses or protective eyewear

We all like to spend some time in the sunshine — even in the wintertime. However, getting out into the sun without sunglasses or other protective eyewear can cause corneal burns — basically a sunburn for your eyeballs. In the long term, too much UVA and UVB exposure can lead to cataracts — the number one cause of vision loss among the world’s population.

If you’re spending any time outside, it’s best to have a pair of shades with you. You’ll protect your eyes and avoid the risk of vision loss, decrease the risk of corneal burns, and you’ll look oh so laid-back and devil-may-care with your stylish pair of shades. Who knew eye health looked so cool!

You wear cheap eye makeup.

It’s true — eye makeup can be incredibly expensive, especially if you’re buying it every month or so. No wonder so many people opt for cheaper, low-end eye makeup that offers a similar look for half the cost. Unfortunately, many cheaper brands use chemicals that can damage your eyes and eyelashes, and even clog tear ducts, which can lead to infections.

Price isn’t necessarily the biggest factor here — as long as your mascara or eyeliner is using natural materials, and you avoid putting it on your inner lid (which can spread bacteria and cause infection), you should be in good shape. Learn more about the dangers of eye makeup in another blog post here!

You smoke cigarettes.

There’s not an eye doctor in the world that would say it’s OK to keep smoking. In terms of eyes, frequent smoking can cause damage to eye tissue and increase the risk of macular degeneration, vision loss, and about a dozen other eye-related ailments — and to make things worse, smoking around others can put them at risk for eye problems as well.

Didn’t your mom teach you anything? Quit smoking (or never start in the first place), and avoid what is basically the fastest route to potential eye problems and poor overall health.

Talk to Your Alexandra Eye Doctor

If you’re curious about other potentially damaging eye habits, talk to the team at Sina J Sabet MD. Our expert professionals can educate you on habits to avoid, and also teach you good habits along the way. Give us a call if you have any questions, or schedule an appointment with us today!