You are probably aware that your vision can deteriorate as you age. In fact, you’re probably wearing contacts or glasses right now, or maybe you find yourself squinting a bit to make the words appear clearly.
It is known that after the age of 40, your vision begins to take a dive. This is known as age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD can’t be completely prevented, but there are steps you can take to slow down the progression of vision loss. On the other hand, there are probably habits you partake in that harm your vision.
If you’re concerned, then you will want to ensure that you’re not taking part in the following seven habits that can harm your vision.
7 common habits that are harming your vision
Reusing contact lens case: Contact lenses can be either daily use or monthly use. Daily’s must be thrown away after a day of use, and monthly’s can be used for a month’s time before disposal. Even if you’re disposing of your contact lenses correctly, where you store them could pose a serious risk to your vision. Germs lurking in your contact lens case can transfer to your contacts, which then end up on your eyes. This can lead to ulcers, infections, itchiness, blurry vision, and light sensitivity.
Experts suggest changing your contact lens case every three to fourth months. You can also sterilize your case by boiling it in water for five minutes.
Rubbing and touching your eyes: Studies have shown that the average person touches their face about 16 times a day, which translates to 16 opportunities for bacteria to enter the eyes. It’s in your best interest to avoid touching your eyes, but if you really must, ensure you’re properly washing your hands to reduce the risk of infection.
Picking your eyelashes: Eyelashes serve our eyes a purpose which goes far beyond putting on mascara. They work to prevent dirt, dust, and debris from entering the eye. Those who pull at their eyelashes often do so as a response to stress and anxiety. If that is the case, you may want to speak to someone as a means of reducing stress and managing your anxiety.
Rinsing contacts with spit or water: To properly clean your contacts to avoid infection and irritation, you should be using a specific contact lens cleaner. Using water or spit can increase the risk of bacteria entering the eye. If you’re strapped and don’t have contact lens solution with you, experts suggest using boiling water.
Swimming without goggles: Even though goggles may not be the most fashion forward, they are necessary to protect your eyes from harm lurking in pools, oceans, or lake water. When picking out goggles, ensure they fit snuggly around the eyes and create a seal that blocks out water.
Relying on artificial tears of other eye lubricants: Artificial tears or eye lubricants work by restricting blood flow to the eyes, making them appear less bloodshot. Unfortunately, if you use these products on the regular, your eyes can become accustomed to them.
If you find yourself constantly relying on eyedrops to rid yourself of bloodshot eyes, you should see an eye specialist.
Not wearing eye protection: Whether you’re at work or completing tasks around the home, your eyes are always at risk for injury. Debris can easily get into your eyes, along with other objects that simply don’t belong. Regardless of what you’re doing, you should always wear protective eyewear. This includes wearing sunglasses.
By being mindful of these habits, you can ensure you’re taking better care of your eyes.
Related: 5 ways to prevent worsening vision