It goes without saying that our vision plays an essential part of our everyday life. From walking to driving to even reading this article, your eyes are needed to perform a wide range of daily tasks. Unfortunately, some common behaviors can have serious long-term consequences on our eyesight.
Rubbing Your Eyes: From time to time, pretty much everyone has the urge to rub something out of our eyes. While doing so might seem rather harmless, this common response to eye irritation has one notable drawback – our hands are covered with dirt and bacteria. Instead of rubbing your eyes, try to blink away any irritants. Should this fail, eye drops can be used to flush out any foreign objects.
Smoking Cigarettes: The risks of smoking cigarettes are seemingly endless; committed smokers face a greater threat of everything from lung cancer to obesity. You can also add cataracts and age-related macular degeneration – two major culprits behind vision loss – to that list. Needless to say, smokers should try to give up their habit as soon as possible.
Too Much Time on the Phone: Nowadays it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t spend hours each day glued to their smartphone. As you might expect, all that screen time isn’t exactly good for your eyes. As you focus on reading small text on your screen, your eyes start to blink less and less. As a result, your eyes produce less tears, leading to dry eyes and later blurry vision.
Not Changing Your Contact Lenses: Many people make the mistake of wearing their contact lenses past their expiration date. Though such a decision might not seem too risky, old contact lenses can act as a petri dish of bacteria, fungi and other nasty microbes.
Avoiding Your Optometrist: Be honest – when is the last time you had an eye exam? Going years without having your eyes checked can allow vision problems to fester, possibly allowing for permanent vision loss to occur. For healthy individuals with no symptoms of vision problems, the Mayo Clinic recommends the following eye exam schedule:
- Every five to 10 years in your 20s and 30s
- Every two to four years from 40 to 54
- Every one to three years from 55 to 64
- Every one to two years after age 65