Everyday Habits That Are Hurting Your Vision & How To Break Them

Reviewed by: Selene A. Burke, OD

Bad Vision Habits
Vision Tips & Prevention Vision Tips & Prevention

Do you find yourself rubbing your eyes frequently, do you spend too much time looking at screens? Some quirks seem to be hardwired and can have a detrimental effect on your eyes. However, bad habits are just bugs in a system, and with a few dedicated ways, it is possible to deprogram them.

Here are eight quick fixes for some of the most common bad habits that can hurt your eyes.

1. Screen Time

The irony here is that you have to read this on a screen, but we think it’s worth it!

Like many people, you may have to spend most of the day at work looking at a computer. At home, you probably spend time on screens checking email, paying bills, reading books or watching TV shows, and all using your laptop, smartphone, or tablet. Even though the use of technology is inescapable, too much screen time can lead to adverse side effects such as blurred vision, headaches, and eye strain. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source For Employees, Screen Time Breaks Are a Must Smarterware Go to Source 1

The Fix: Live in the woods or off the grids forever – kidding! Screens are everywhere, and it is not practical to suggest you can’t use it at all, but taking a break frequently (a digital detox) can do wonders for your well-being.
Start small and try limiting your screen time to one hour before bed and consider taking digital breaks on the weekends. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Digital Detox Dave Asprey Blog Go to Source 2 Bonus Tip: You can use a web or mobile apps to help you moderate screen time so that it does not affect your eye health.

2. Old Makeup

Eye makeup can make your eyes pop, but all that mascara and shadow can expose your eyes to dirt and dust, which increases the chance for an eye infection or an allergic reaction. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Old Makeup Can Cause Serious Eye Infections URMC Go to Source 3

Apart from dust and dirt, pieces of makeup can get into the eyes (ouch!) that can also cause redness and irritation. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source 7 ways to Avoid Getting Eye Infection From Makeup Dermstore Go to Source 4 Does this mean all you ladies that do love wearing makeup should go makeup-free?

Don’t fret! Some easy tips will help you reduce the risk of eye problems associated with your eye makeup. A few to get started are: follow expiration dates, remove your eye makeup before bedtime, and avoid touching your eye area, unless you wash your hands first. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source 7 ways to Avoid Getting Eye Infection From Makeup Dermstore Go to Source 5

3. Rubbing Your Eyes

We get it, itchy eyes are annoying, and rubbing your eyes may seem harmless, but frequent eye rubbing can cause severe damage to your eyes. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Rubbing Your Eyes: Is It Safe? Healthline Go to Source 6

The Fix: You can use eye drops to cleanse your eyes and flush out dirt. A doctor may have to prescribe medicine to treat conjunctivitis. A warm compress may also help itchiness, dryness, red-eye, and infections. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Warm Compress for Eye Infection, Stye, and More Healthline Go to Source 7

If you’re rubbing your eyes as a habit, simply resisting the urge to rub your eyes would help!

4. Not visiting the eye doctor regularly

Did you know that eye doctors may even be able to detect other health issues during a comprehensive eye exam along with other eye-related concerns?

Some of the health issues such as diabetes, high cholesterol, thyroid diseases, etc. may discover during an eye exam. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source 7 Health Problems Eye Exams Can Detect Your Sight Matters Go to Source 8 Yet a fair amount of people might avoid an eye exam. Be a busy schedule or the belief that if nothing hurts, then everything is fine.

The Fix: Even if you do not notice a problem, a trained ophthalmologist or optometrist can spot any deficiencies during the early stages of development. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Why You Need an Eye Exam (Even Without Glasses) Sight Eye Clinic Go to Source 9

Plan a trip to your eye doctor, just like you’d go to a primary care physician for a checkup.

5. Wearing the wrong sunglasses

While sunglasses are fashionably cool, they also protect eyes from UV exposure that is harmful to your eyes. You’re subject to ultraviolet exposure despite the weather – winter or summer, cloudy or sunny.

The Fix: Wear sunglasses when outdoors during the day to prevent sun damage to the eyes. A beauty benefit of sunglasses is it helps protect the delicate skin around the eyes from aging. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source What are sunglasses really doing for your eyes? Piedmont Go to Source 10 😉

6.The Bad Habit: Sleeping in contacts.

Raise your hand if you’re too tired to remove your contacts before going to bed. Join the club! Removing contacts is such a chore, especially when all you want is to go to bed. But going to sleep with contacts is harmful to your eyes. It blocks oxygen from reaching your cornea and may cause a bacterial eye infection. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Sleeping With Your Contacts: Is it bad? Sleep.org Go to Source 11

The Fix: Don’t sleep in your contacts, not even a nap. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Why You Should Never Sleep in Your Contact Lenses American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 12

If you accidentally fall asleep in your contacts, remove them as soon as possible. If they do not come off easily (because they seem stuck to your eyes), don’t tug at them. Instead, put extra lubrication (like multipurpose contact lens solution ) in your eyes to take them out safely. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Contact Stuck in My Eye - What Do I Do? All About Vision Go to Source 13 You may want to give your eyes some break at least for a day before wearing them back. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Sleeping with Contacts In: Just How Bad Is It for Your Eyes? Healthline Go to Source 14 If your eye remains irritated, see an eye doctor immediately.

7. Sleeping with makeup on.

Slept on the couch with a full face of foundation, eyeshadow, and mascara? You don’t need us to tell you this one, but sleeping in your makeup is also a big No-No! Not only for the couch but also for your eyes.

When eye makeup gets into the cornea (the front part of the eye), it increases the chances of getting a corneal infection or a scratch. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source 6 Daily Habits That Are Probably Affecting Your Eyesight Mind Body Green Go to Source 15

The Fix: Gently wash off your eye makeup each night before bed. According to AAO, selecting solutions that are hypoallergenic, non-toxic, and free of germs should provide you with the safety you need and also get the job done. If you are having any specific problems with your eyes, we suggest you speak with your ophthalmologist. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source What is the best ophthalmologist-approved eye American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 16

8.The Bad Habit: Smoking

The long list of risks associated with smoking gets longer. According to the AAO, not only smoking tobacco (cigarettes, cigars, or pipes) can cause lung disease, cancer, and other health problems, but it can also harm the eyes. Glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and dry eye are some of these problems. Also, a baby’s eyes can be affected if the mother smokes during pregnancy. Quitting smoking can help save your vision. Trusetd Source Checkbox Trusted Source Smoking and Eye Disease American Academy of Ophthalmology Go to Source 17 Kick the habit for good.


Trusetd Source Checkbox  Sources


1http://smarterware.org/2019/06/for-employees-screen-time-breaks-are-a-must/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
2  Digital Detox – Dave Asprey Blog. https://blog.daveasprey.com/digital-detox-benefits/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
3  Old Makeup Can Cause Serious Eye Infections – URMC. https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=724. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
4  7 Ways to Avoid Getting Eye Infection From Makeup – Dermstore. 14 May. 2018, https://www.dermstore.com/blog/eye-infection-from-makeup/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
5  7 Ways to Avoid Getting Eye Infection From Makeup – Dermstore. 14 May. 2018, https://www.dermstore.com/blog/eye-infection-from-makeup/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
6  Rubbing Your Eyes: Is It Safe? – Healthline. 22 Feb. 2017, https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/rubbing-your-eyes. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
7  Warm Compress for Eye Infection, Stye, and More – Healthline. 12 Sep. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/warm-compress-for-eye. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
8  7 Health Problems Eye Exams Can Detect – Your Sight Matters. https://yoursightmatters.com/7-health-problems-eye-exams-can-detect/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
9 Why You Need an Eye Exam (Even Without Glasses) | Sight https://sighteyeclinic.com/why-you-need-an-eye-exam-even-if-you-dont-need-glasses/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
10 What are sunglasses really doing for your eyes? – Piedmont https://www.piedmont.org/living-better/what-are-sunglasses-really-doing-for-your-eyes. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

11  Sleeping with Your Contacts In: Is it bad? – Sleep.org. https://www.sleep.org/articles/sleeping-with-contacts/. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
12  Why You Should Never Sleep in Your Contact Lenses – AAO.org. 28 Sep. 2018, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/tips-prevention/why-you-should-never-sleep-in-your-contact-lenses. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.
13  Contact Stuck in My Eye – What Do I Do? – All About Vision.
https://www.allaboutvision.com/contacts/faq/stuck-in-eye.htm. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

14  Sleeping with Contacts In: Just How Bad Is It for Your Eyes?. 15 Jul. 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/sleeping-with-contacts. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.
15  6 Daily Habits That Are Probably Affecting Your Eyesight. 10 Oct. 2019, https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/6-daily-habits-affecting-your-eyesight-according-to-optometrist. Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.
16  What is the best ophthalmologist-approved eye – AAO.org.” 30 Nov. 2015, https://www.aao.org/eye-health/ask-ophthalmologist-q/what-is-best-ophthalmologist-approved-eye-makeup-r. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.
17  Smoking and Eye Disease – AAO.org. https://www.aao.org/Assets/e410b8d7-b604-4414-83f0-e02928d0e6c1/635863878154100000/smoking-and-eye-disease-academy-patient-education-pdf?inline=1. Accessed 24 Feb. 2020.

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