Our vision is probably our most valued sense. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to do some of the things we enjoy most like driving, watching TV, reading, painting, and more.
However, it’s also a sense we often forget needs sharpening. Beyond doing things to actively improve your vision, though, like taking supplements or implementing eye exercises, there are a lot of things you do that may actually be damaging your vision.
A lot of our daily lives pose a threat to healthy vision, but these seven eyesight habits are the most common and most easily avoidable!
1. Eye Makeup
Eye makeup is the one type of makeup we’re always told to throw out after a few months (typically three to four months), whether the mascara tube, eye shadow container or eye liner stick is finished. The reason for this is that natural bacteria found around the eye will be transferred to the eye makeup and continue to manifest, increasing your risk of infection.
The most commonly used eye makeup is mascara. It is most associated with eye infections because the wand comes in direct contact with potential bacteria. To minimize risk, you should do the following:
Store mascara in a cool place
Never apply more than two coats
Don’t apply mascara in a moving vehicle because you risk scratching your cornea
2. Computer Screens
Computers are everywhere. It’s impossible to avoid them whether your job requires you to stare at a computer screen all day, or you’re a student who works tirelessly on papers and research. These long hours on the computer can lead to Computer Vision Syndrome.
To prevent this syndrome, it is important to keep the computer screen 15 to 20 percent below your eye level and reduce glare as best as possible. This would mean working in a space with dimmed lighting and minimal sunlight (which can be achieved with using blinds or window curtains).
3. Cellphone Light
Cellphones are another technology everyone is guilty of using excessively. The blue light from your cellphone can cause blurred vision, eyestrain and dry eyes. This can be avoided by dimming your screen light, increasing the font size and blinking more often while staring at the screen.
Because tablet and phone screens are a relatively new invention, the potential long term damages on the eyes are not known, but it is confirmed that the HEV light used in these devices cause damage to animal eyes, specifically their retinas, according to this recent report by The Vision Council. Because the long term effects are not known on humans yet, it’s best to play it safe and take precaution now.
The sun is the most damaging substance to any part of your body, not excluding the eyes. When you burn in the sun, chances are your eyes will as well, unless they are properly protected.
Ultra violet rays penetrate the cornea and can lead to a number of damaging diseases, including:
Keratitis or corneal burns
These are just a few disorders that can develop due to UV rays. They may seem scary, but there’s a very easy way to prevent all of these: Sunglasses. Sunglasses (preferably ones with built in UV protection) and hats are excellent and stylish ways to protect your eyes from the sun during those long summer days spent outside.
5. Contact Lenses
Once you start wearing contacts and it becomes a regular part of your daily routine, it’s easy to be careless with them. What most people don’t know is that contact lenses can lead to some serious infections that can lead to blindness. Though this would be an extreme case in need of medical attention, it does happen when contacts are poorly handled.
Smoking has long been associated with diseases such as heart disease, but did you know that smoking can lead to vision loss and blindness? Vision related diseases that are increased due to smoking are the following:
Dry Eye Syndrome
Age-related Macular Degeneration
Now that you’re aware of everyday factors that can contribute to lack of vision health, you can begin to take steps in the right direction towards protecting your most valued sense.