We all have bad habits, but these ones could negatively impact your eyesight over time. Here’s how to break them today…

As important as our eyesight is, many of us have unknowingly developed habits that could damage our eyes over time…

“It is the little things we do every day without thinking, which compound to cause damage to our eyes. Staring at screens, rubbing your eyes, forgetting to wear sunglasses and even not drinking enough water can have an impact on your eyes,” says Ruahan Naude, CEO at Dynamic Vision Optometrists.

Here are 10 bad habits and ways to break them:

1. Stop staring at your smartphone

The glare, blue light that is emitted and small text all makes staring at a smartphone screen for hours the cause of eye strain, tired eyes, dry eyes, blurred vision, headaches, dizziness and even nausea.

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Give your eyes a break by putting your phone down every 20 minutes for 20 minutes at least.

You can also increase the size of the font on your phone so that your eyes don’t have to strain to focus on very small text.

Don’t hold the device too close to your eyes and make sure to get a good pair of blue light lenses.

2. Give up generic low grade lenses

Lenses that are bought over-the-counter or online without a proper eye exam can have a negative long-term impact on your vision.

While some industry experts don’t believe that ready-made reading glasses bought over-the-counter and online can permanently damage your eyesight, it is still not the best solution due to the overall poor quality that can cause tired eyes, headaches and eye strain such as dry and sore eyes, and you don’t know if it is the correct fit.

3. Stop sleeping with contact lenses in

Leaving your contact lenses in while you sleep may increase your chances of infection and can also lead to permanent damage.

Regardless of how tired you are, remove your contact lenses every night.

4. Take a break from eye drops

Overusing eye drops is not a good idea.

Most commercially available eye drops are decongestants and contain vasoconstrictors. They shrink the outer blood vessels in the whites of the eyes to reduce redness. At the same time, they dry out the eyes. Before long the redness returns and more drops are needed. It becomes a vicious circle.

Long term use of eye drops containing steroids can lead to glaucoma, a disease that causes cells in the topic nerve to degenerate and results in loss of vision.

Only use eye drops as recommended by your optometrist or doctor and for short periods.

5. Hold back from rubbing your eyes

Rubbing your eyes too hard can break the blood vessels under the eyelids.

This can cause keratoconus which is a progressive eye disease where the cornea thins and begins to bulge into a cone-like shape, which causes distorted vision.1

Instead of rubbing tired, irritated eyes, soothe them with a cold compress, slices of cucumber and saline drops.

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While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.