What Are the Habits That Affect Your Vision?

What Are the Habits That Affect Your Vision?

1According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 2.2 billion people around the globe have either vision impairment or are suffering from blindness. The leading causes of vision impairment around the world are cataracts and uncorrected refractive errors.

Globally, there are almost 1 billion people who are living with moderate to severe vision impairment because of unaddressed refractive errors and presbyopia, according to WHO.

Thus, your visual acuity is not something that you can take for granted. Your eyesight is bound to change with age, as does your health. Along with this, several lifestyle habits are seemingly harmless but could be negatively impacting your vision.

For example, if you are swimming while wearing your contact lenses, you may end up with dry, itchy eyes, or infections due to the chlorinated pool water. Here are a few habits that you must discontinue right away for the sake of your vision.

1. Wearing Contact Lenses Beyond The Recommended Schedule

While you may feel that it is harmless to continue wearing those daily disposable contact lenses on the second or third day, you are mistaken. First, you are increasing your chances of catching an infection by wearing contact lenses for more than their intended usage.

Second, debris and protein may get accumulated on the surface of the contact lenses, including both monthly replaceable and daily disposable contact lenses. The accumulation of impurities, in turn, hampers your visual acuity and overall eye health. As a rule of thumb, never sleep while wearing your contact lenses, never share them with others, or never wear them again without cleaning them thoroughly with a lens care solution.

2. Rubbing Your Eyes

Rubbing your eyes may bring you momentary relief from irritation. However, you are also spreading dirt and bacteria from your hands into your eyes. When you rub your eyes, various microscopic germs can reach your eyes and cause several issues, such as the pink eye.

You may also increase your risk of damaging fragile blood vessels around the eye and getting permanent corneal damage, such as in the case of keratoconus (wherein the cornea thins and starts to bulge outwards). Whenever you feel irritation in your eyes due to debris, dirt, or other foreign particles, try to blink rapidly to flush out the particles from your eye. In case of your daily disposable contact lenses, you may try blinking, but if the problem persists, you should remove your contact lenses.

3. Using Expired Eye Makeup

Like most products have a shelf-life, eye makeup essentials also expire after a specific period. However, there are always slight chances that you may end up using expired makeup well after its prescribed usage tenure – just to use that expensive brand of mascara you bought or another product you love.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology2reports that using eye makeup that is past its expiration date can irritate your eyes, especially if you are wearing contact lenses (both monthly replaceable and daily disposable contact lenses) or a severe eye infection.

To be safe, you should throw away any eye makeup once it forms lumps (this is a good indicator that the makeup has expired). Also, avoid adding water to remove the lumps as it may increase the number of bacteria in the product and increase the risk further.

4. Going Out Without Wearing Sunglasses

Not covering your eyes with sunglasses (UV-protection enabled) while going outside exposes your eyes to harmful UV rays. Prolonged exposure to these rays can not only age but also damage your eyelids, retina, and the front surface of your eyes 3; the process is called photokeratitis.

If you are regularly going out without sunglasses, your eyes are exposed to the risk of developing severeeye conditions such as macular degeneration, pinguecula, cataracts, and pterygium. Make sure that you always wear sunglasses that provide 100% UV blocking when outside – even when its overcast outside. Also, even if you wear contact lenses with an inbuilt UV shield, make sure you do not skip wearing your sunglasses over the eyes.

5. Smoking

Various studies show the harmful effects of smoking on different body parts – including lungs and eyes. According to the National Eye Institute4, excessive smoking can cause age-related macular degeneration or damage the spot on your retina (which is responsible for sharp, central vision.)

When you smoke, this part of the retina starts deteriorating, and subsequently, affects your visual acuity5. Unfortunately, smoking almost doubles up the risk of developing vision loss in individuals above 50 years of age. Also, various studies have linked smoking with eye issues such as dry eyes, uveitis, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy. However, once you quit smoking, you can reduce your risk of contracting these eye issues, regardless of your age.

6. Spending Hours In Front Of A Computer Or Smartphone

When you spend long hours on your computer (or smartphone), 6,you may experience dryness in your eyes due to a reduced rate of blinking. Various studies link the blink rate with that of tear production in the eyes. Tears are primarily responsible for lubrication in the eyes, and without them, your eyes may begin to feel strained and dry, causing blurry vision. Unclear vision due to fatigued eyesight may also cause headaches, dry eyes, and eye irritation.

To remediate the situation, the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends7 that you follow the 20-20-20 rule to alleviate the amount of strain in your eyes. The rule specifies that you must look away from your computer (or smartphone) after every 20 minutes and focus your eyes on an object placed at least 20 feet away for a minimum duration of 20 seconds.

Doing so will help relax your eyes and readjust them. It would be best if you also made a conscious effort to keep blinking regularlyso that your eyes remain well lubricated.

At Bausch+Lomb, we provide suitable, comprehensive eye care solutions so that you may never have to compromise with sub-par vision acuity. We offer a wide range of contact lenses to suit your needs and vision correction requirements. Visit our website or connect with us, and we will help match the perfect pair of contact lenses for your eyes.

Sources –
[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/blindness-and-visual-impairment 
[2] https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/photokeratitis-snow-blindness
[3] https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
[4] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK402367/
[5] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6020759/ 
Other sources:
http://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/eye-makeup
https://nei.nih.gov/health/maculardegen/armd_facts
http://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/computer-usage
https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthbeat/safeguarding-your-sight 
https://www.vision-institute.com/uncategorized/7-bad-habits-harm-vision/
https://www.self.com/story/everyday-habits-that-are-hurting-your-eyesight
https://www.nei.nih.gov/sites/default/files/health-pdfs/tipsforeyehealth.pdf

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