Our eyes are a precious instrument that let us see the beauty of the world and experience our life fully. Even the slightest vision problems take away from that experience and impact the quality of our daily functioning. We talk a lot about what to do to preserve our eyesight and strengthen our eyes. Eat fruits and vegetables, exercise your eye muscles, get enough sleep, protect your eyes from direct sunlight… It’s all great, but don’t forget that there are also things you may be doing that are harmful to your eyes.
Here’s a quick list of things NOT TO DO—take note and be on your guard.
4 habits that are harmful to your eyes
Working without a break
Most of our daily activities, both professional and leisure, incur a significant stress on our eyes. Whether it be watching TV or surfing the internet, reading a book or even driving, after an hour of concentration our eyes get tired. To avoid strain (and headaches, in more severe cases), give your eyes a break every now and then. Get up from the computer and do something for 10–15 minutes that does not involve any type of screen. Close your eyes during the commercials and let them relax.
Staring into the light
Wherever you look, unless you’re in a completely dark room, there’s some sort of light. The sun or lamp, if you’re staring at it directly, it’s damaging the nerves and the cells in your eyes. If you’re looking at something and you feel your eyes are burning, it’s a pretty obvious hint that it’s time to look away. If you are in a bright environment, close your eyes from time to time for rest. Play with settings on your gadgets to find a comfortable brightness level.
Wearing glasses all the timeUnless you completely rely on your glasses to operate, you don’t need to wear your glasses all the time. It’s true, there are times when you absolutely need them—for example, for driving or seeing objects in the distance if you are nearsighted. But at times when you don’t rely on your glasses to see things, take them off. Or, if you’re wearing contacts, have your case handy to easily remove them whenever you feel like it. Glasses help us see things, but sometimes our eyes need to do some work too.
Eating too much sugar
You already know that loads of sugar spells trouble for your health, but what exactly does it mean for your eyes? Clinical evidence shows that diabetics have a greater risk of developing eye problems later in life as a result of their insulin response and its impact on metabolism. It doesn’t mean that you should completely eliminate sugar from your diet. But you should definitely be more careful about your sweet indulgences if you’re worried about your eyesight. If you have diabetes, put in an extra effort to manage your blood sugar levels. Not only will it help with your condition, but it will also lower your risk of getting glaucoma and a macular degeneration diagnosis.
As you can see, these are all no-brainers, but little adjustments can go a long way in protecting your eyesight. Less sugar, less light, less strain, and more rest—this should be your mantra if you want to keep your eyes strong and healthy for years to come.
Related: 7 common habits that are harming your vision