Cornea and refractive specialist and comprehensive ophthalmologist Dr. Luisa SolisHaving healthy vision is not just about getting your eyes checked and eating healthy. There are actions or habits that may affect your vision or eye health.
We asked Dr. Luisa Solis, a cornea and refractive specialist and comprehensive ophthalmologist at Asian Eye Institute, and here are the bad-for-youreyes habits and the reasons you should stop doing them!
1. Rub your eyes. We get it—rubbing your eyes can be soothing. But it increases your risks of getting scratches on your cornea (the clear domeshaped layer of your eye) and eye infections. When you rub your eyes, dirt or debris may scratch your cornea and lead to eye redness and irritation. Extreme cases may lead to scars and long-term eye problems. And since you use your hands for many different activities, your hands are likely to have different bacteria that can transfer to your eyes. If your eye is really itchy, flush it with clean water or a sterile saline solution. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your eyes.
2. Smoke. Smoking is linked to higher risk of developing a number of eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration. Quitting smoking will help protect your eyes.
3. Sleep without removing your contact lenses. It may be late and you may be tired, but that is not an excuse for sleeping with your contact lenses still on. Doing so increases your risk of eye infections and threatens your vision. Contact lens packaging indicates how long you can wear them. It usually ranges from daily, weekly or monthly variants. Your eye doctor may have specific advice on which type is best to use, and use proper contact lens hygiene.
4. Swim or shower with contact lenses. Remember that contact lenses sit on the surface of the eye so exposure to dirty water can allow bacteria to get in your eyes and lead to infections. Remove your contacts and store them properly before you get in the water. If you are swimming, you may want to consider getting yourself prescription swimming goggles or using Ortho-K lenses the night before.
5. Use eye drops not prescribed by your eye doctor. Eye drops are medicated so they contain ingredients that are meant to address specific symptoms or conditions. Using one that is not prescribed by your doctor can put your sight at risk of unintended side effects. So, before you grab that bottle from the store or from a friend or family member, talk to your eye doctor about your symptoms and request a prescription. Make sure to use them exactly as your eye doctor tells you.
6. Try unsafe or unproven home remedies. Home remedies, such as using breast milk to cure sore eyes or frozen meat for a black eye, could do more harm than good. These can carry harmful bacteria that may lead to eye infections. It is always better to consult your eye doctor and apply sterile items on or around your eyes.
7. Forget to wear protective eyewear at work or at play. Are you into sports? Do you like home DIYs? Do you work with chemicals? Eye injuries can happen just about anywhere. Wearing protective eyewear like protective glasses or goggles can help prevent injuries from happening.
If you feel like something is wrong, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye doctor as soon as possible. It is easier to correct or treat eye problems when they are caught early.
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