We do things throughout our days that we don’t worry too much about — not putting on sunscreen in the morning, eating an extra cookie for dessert, or not flossing at night. And while these things might not have a significant effect right away, they can have an overall negative impact on your health. Not using sunscreen can cause premature aging, extra sugar can affect your waistline, and not flossing can eventually harm your teeth. So what do we do that has long-term effects on our eyes?

If you are experiencing issues with your eyes, whether it’s pain, redness, or changes in your vision, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor. Many times, these smaller issues can be a sign of an underlying issue and an eye exam is the first defense. Read through these things that can damage your eyesight over time and if some of them sound familiar, reach out to Dr. Sina J. Sabet in Alexandria today!

Habits That Have Long-Term Effects on our Eyes

Not Wearing Sunglasses

Many people simply wear sunglasses because they are an accessory to an outfit, but they play an incredibly important role in protecting your eyes. Without protective eyewear, you are more at risk of developing cataracts, damaging the retina, and developing skin cancer on your eyelids. For the most protection, wear sunglasses that are wide-brimmed and offer 100 percent protection from UV rays.

Improper Contact Lens Use

One of the habits that make eye doctors cringe is wearing contact lenses for too long, not properly cleaning them, or using water to clean them. If you wear contacts, you should also make sure to not wear them in the shower, in the hot tub or pool, and you should take them out before going to sleep. If you do wear contacts for multiple days, be sure that they are approved by your eye doctor.

Rubbing Your Eyes

This may not sound like a big deal, but rubbing your eyes can damage the blood vessels under the eyelids and if your hands aren’t clean, they can become infected. If you have irritated eyes and have an urge to rub them, use a cold compress or eye drops instead. If you need to itch your eyes, be sure to wash your hands or use a tissue.

Misusing Eye Makeup

Using makeup in itself isn’t a bad habit, it’s how you use it and how old the products are. Eyeliner is the biggest culprit of causing eye issues as it can be put along the water line, the area just below the lash line, or lacrimal gland. Eye ducts lie along this area and when they become blocked, it prevents tears from reaching the surface of the eye. You should also avoid using makeup that is expired.

Not Getting Enough Sleep

Getting insufficient sleep isn’t just bad on your body and mind, but on your eyes. When you don’t get at least seven hours of sleep, it can lead to twitching eyes, dry eyes, blurry vision, and pain.

Smoking

Both the chemicals that you inhale and the smoke that you exhale has significant effects on your eyes. Smoking can lead to a higher risk of developing cataracts, age-related macular degeneration, dry eye, and glaucoma. To learn more about how smoking can damage your eyes, read our previous blog.

Diet

A balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins has dozens of benefits, and when all you put in your body is processed foods and sugar, there are obvious drawbacks. Certain foods, like citrus fruits, nuts, leafy greens, and whole grains — anything with vitamin E, C, and omega-3 fatty acids — are particularly good for your eyes. Another important thing to make sure you are getting plenty of is water. Drinking water will ensure that your eyes are hydrated and healthy.

Not Wearing Safety Goggles

Mowing the lawn, working on projects in the garage, or working on the car — if you’re doing anything that involves potentially flying parts or chemicals, you should be wearing safety glasses. A large number of accidents and injuries happen at home, so it’s important to be as careful as possible. If you’re ever in need of emergency eye care, Dr. Sina provides emergency treatment.

There are various factors that go into the long-term health of our eyes. If it’s been longer than a year or two since your last eye exam, now is the time to schedule an eye exam to make sure there are no underlying issues. The sooner that some issues are found, the better. Call Dr. Sina J. Sabet and his team of eye doctors today!