If your eyes could talk, they may say the traditional "I'm not furious, I'm just disappointed" remark. Even if you follow appropriate eye care habits to safeguard your vision, such as seeing your eye doctor on a regular basis and wearing sunglasses, you may be damaging your eye health in ways you are unaware of.
With that in mind, we asked eye professionals about the most common mistakes individuals make with their eyes, as well as how to rectify them.
1. You frequently forget to remove your contacts before going to bed.
Contact lenses can deprive the cornea of oxygen. Instead of blood arteries, the cornea obtains oxygen from the air. While wearing contacts during the day is OK, wearing them overnight can dramatically restrict the quantity of oxygen your eyes receive, potentially leading to complications.
Because your eyelids are closed and your contact lenses are preventing oxygen from reaching the cornea, your eyes may suffer from hypoxia or oxygen deprivation, which can raise the risk of eye infections. Remember that your eyelids assist in maintain the cornea moist and clear of pollutants in addition to shielding your eyes from dust and other particles. When you close your eyes, the tear film spreads over your cornea, washing away any contaminants. However, because your eyelids are kept shut when you sleep, your eyes' capacity to resist germs that flourish in damp, humid environments is greatly hampered.
2. Rubbing your eyes vigorously is a habit.
Rubbing your eyes may appear to be a rather innocuous activity. Most of us do it on a daily basis, whether we have hay fever, a common cold, or are simply weary and foggy. Rubbing causes tears to flow, which lubricates dry eyes and removes dust and other irritants.
Rubbing your eyes may also be relaxing. By pressing your eyeball, you can activate the vagus nerve, which slows your heart rate and relieves stress.
However, rubbing your eyes too frequently or too forcefully can cause harm in a variety of ways...
Rubbing your eyes may cause the rupture of microscopic blood vessels, resulting in bloodshot eyes or dark undereye circles. When you wipe your eyes, bacteria from your hands are easily transmitted, which can lead to illnesses like conjunctivitis. When a foreign body becomes stuck in a person's eye, the natural inclination is to rub it to try to dislodge the object. However, rubbing against the item can easily scrape and damage the cornea.
Rubbing is especially harmful in persons who already have certain eye disorders. Rubbing may aggravate the symptoms of progressive myopia (a kind of short-sightedness caused by a lengthened eyeball). Similarly, patients suffering from glaucoma may discover that scratching their eyes can disrupt blood flow to the back of the eye, resulting in nerve damage and, eventually, irreversible loss of vision.
3. You gaze at electronics all day without taking a break from your eyes.
Wake up and browse Instagram and Facebook. Start your day by getting to work, checking your email, and looking at two displays. Does this sound familiar?
Without a question, we live in an increasingly digital world. Screen time consumes hours each day for both work and pleasure. But what does all that screen time do to your eyes?
- DO YOU KNOW WHAT DIGITAL EYE STRAIN IS?
Spending hours each day gazing at devices and phones may have a negative impact, particularly on our eyes. Millions of people in the United States suffer from a disease known as digital eye strain.
If you think you might have digital eye strain, talk to your eye doctor. Even if you’re not suffering from digital eye strain, there are things you can do to prevent it.
You may have this condition and be unaware of it! Some of the most prevalent signs of digital eye strain are:
- Watery or dry eyes
- Having trouble keeping your eyes open?
- Having blurred or double vision
- Burning eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Neck, shoulder, or back pain
- Inability to focus and increased sensitivity to light
Consult your eye doctor if you suspect you have digital eye strain. The AOA recommends positioning your screens to avoid glare from lighting sources (or purchasing an anti-glare screen), resting your eyes for 15 minutes every two hours of screen use, looking into the distance for 20 seconds after every 20 minutes of computer use to allow your eyes to refocus, and blinking frequently. You should also keep your computer screen below eye level to avoid unintentionally expanding your eyes to view it, which may cause your eyes to dry out faster.
4. You do not remove your eye makeup before going to bed.
When you're exhausted, taking off your makeup before bed might feel like a marathon. I'm sorry to break it to you, but it's critical.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) recommends removing all eye makeup, including mascara, before going to bed. If you use eye makeup remover, rinse it thoroughly off your eyelids and gently brush a clean cotton swab down the root of your eyelashes to remove any remaining traces of makeup.
The primary reason for adhering to this protocol is to avoid Meibomian gland dysfunction. The Meibomian glands on your eyelids release oil on a daily basis to keep your eyes moisturized, but eyeliner, mascara, and general detritus can clog them up. If that happens, they won't be able to discharge enough oil. This can cause dry eyes and styes (pimple-like blemishes on your eyelids). As bothersome as it may feel at the time, cleaning off your makeup every night may go a long way toward preserving healthy eyes.
5. You use redness-reducing eye drops excessively.
Excessive usage of eye drops might do more damage than good. Do you find yourself reaching for eye drops all the time? While eye drops can give gratifying and immediate relief for itchy or irritated eyes, exceeding the daily prescribed amount can lead to significant eye health issues.
- How can excessive use of eye drops occur?
Most people overuse eye drops because they believe they are a cure for their problem rather than a temporary therapy.
This may result in too many drops being inserted into the eyes or utilizing the eye drops too often throughout the day. If you suspect you are overusing your eye drops, consult with a local eye doctor to determine the root cause of your problems.
6. You are aware that something is wrong with your eyes, but you continue to put off seeing a doctor.
There are several reasons why your eyes may momentarily act up, such as allergies or a cold. But if you have dry, watery, irritated, itchy, painful eyes on a regular basis, or if you have vision problems, don't dismiss them.
Seeing a doctor will help you to receive an accurate diagnosis as well as an effective treatment plan. That implies you should be completely honest about your eye habits when you do get into the office, even if you know they haven't been outstanding. Your candor can go a long way toward assisting your doctor in making a diagnosis—and decreasing the likelihood of future eye problems.