11 Habits That Are Damaging Your Vision

by Francis Ogoti
7 minutes read

It’s time to modify these detrimental behaviours.

1. Engaging in prolonged smartphone use.

Continuously straining your eyes to read the small text on your mobile phone might be the cause of your daily eye discomfort. This habit, particularly when practiced for extended periods, can result in blurry vision, dry eyes, dizziness, and even nausea.

To give your eyes some relief, take breaks from your phone every 20 minutes. Alternatively, consider increasing the font size on your phone so that your eyes don’t have to work excessively to read those tiny Facebook posts.

2. Watching television late at night.

In fact, using any kind of screen before bed, especially in a dark environment, such as your cell phone, e-reader, TV, or computer, is detrimental to your eyes. The rapid changes in light levels require your eyes to exert extra effort to process them, leading to eye strain, pain, headaches, dryness, and redness. Moreover, this habit can disrupt your sleep pattern.

Conversely, reading in dim lighting is also not recommended. While there isn’t substantial evidence that it damages eyesight, it strains the eyes, causing increased fatigue, redness, pain, and discomfort. Therefore, if you plan to read a few chapters before bedtime, it’s advisable to turn on a lamp on your nightstand.

3. Sleeping with contact lenses.

We understand that it can be tempting to skip removing your contact lenses when you’re exhausted late at night. However, this is not an excuse, as it raises the risk of infection and potential permanent damage. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that almost one million Americans visit eye doctors each year due to contact lens-related infections. As an additional tip, make sure your hands are clean and use extra contact solution when taking them out at night.

4. Engaging in eye rubbing.

As much as you may be tempted, it is strongly advised against. Vigorous rubbing can potentially damage the blood vessels beneath the eyelids. To relieve irritated eyes, consider using a cold compress instead.

5. Excessive reliance on eye drops.

Although they provide temporary relief for dry eyes, using them excessively can actually lead to eye irritation in the long run. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) cautions that over-the-counter eye drops do not improve eye health; they merely reduce redness. It is recommended to use eye drops for only a limited period.

If you are using prescription eye drops, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions and discontinue their use immediately if they cause any irritation, eye rashes, or other adverse effects.

6. Neglecting a balanced diet.

Indeed, diet and nutrition play a significant role. Certain fruits and vegetables are particularly essential for optimal eye health, especially those rich in vitamins C and E, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids. The AAO suggests incorporating citrus fruits, vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains, leafy greens, and fish into your meals whenever possible.

Moreover, staying well-hydrated is crucial, as water helps with tear production and maintaining proper eye lubrication. It is also important to avoid consuming excessive sodium, as it can contribute to dehydration.

7. Failing to use protective goggles.

According to the AAO, nearly 45% of eye injuries occur at home, with common risks including exposure to chemicals in cleaning products (which cause 125,000 injuries annually), splattering hot grease and oil while cooking, engaging in home improvement projects involving nails, mowing the lawn, and using hot styling tools near the eyes. Although safety goggles may seem inconvenient or appear amusing, it is highly advisable to wear them when working on home improvement projects for your own protection.

8. Improper use of eye makeup.

Any product that comes in close contact with your eyes poses a potential risk. This includes mascara, eyeliner, eye shadow, and eye creams. It’s important to apply makeup away from the lash line to avoid blocking the oil glands on your eyelids, as accumulation here can lead to infections. Additionally, it’s crucial to discard eye makeup after three months. Dark and moist environments are breeding grounds for bacteria, and your mascara could harbor harmful infections.

9. Inadequate sleep.

Lack of sleep can have numerous negative effects, such as weight gain, depression, and a weakened immune system. Moreover, insufficient sleep can also impact your eyes, resulting in symptoms like eye twitching, dryness, blurred vision, and pain. Aim for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night and make it a habit to avoid using smartphones before bedtime.

10. Neglecting to wear glasses or sunglasses.

Excessive squinting can strain your eyes, leading to discomfort. The solution is simple: Wear your glasses when needed!

When outdoors, don’t forget to wear those fashionable sunglasses tucked away in your bag. They provide protection against harmful UV rays that can damage your eyes over time. If you experience photophobia or light sensitivity, sunglasses can help alleviate the effects of bright lights, including headaches, blurred vision, and redness.

11. Irregular eye doctor visits.

Regular visits to an eye doctor are essential not only for detecting serious eye conditions like glaucoma, which may not exhibit noticeable symptoms, but also for identifying signs of other underlying illnesses such as diabetes and high blood pressure. Eye examinations can provide valuable insights into your overall health, as certain conditions can be detected by examining the eyes.

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