We all like to think we’re doing a pretty good job when it comes to basic hygiene, caring for our bodies and staying healthy. Well, while this may be the case for many, the majority of people develop less-than-helpful habits throughout life that can really put us in harm’s way. This is especially the case when it comes to your eyes.
Whether it be through ignorance or pure laziness, there are a handful of things that (almost) everyone does that can harm your eye health. You don’t always think of it, and that’s ok. That’s why you have us!
Look, your eyes are pretty resilient. They can take a (gentle) beating for a long time before you start to see any real side effects of these bad habits. That doesn’t make these habits any less important to break, however.
So, let’s get into the seven most common bad eye care habits that you’re probably guilty of, and why you should break them.
TVs, Computers, and Phones
This one is just about universal these days. Look, we get it. It’s hard to break this habit because we (and society) now deem it a mandatory part of our lives. Whether it be work, social interaction or navigating life through a series of apps, screens are a necessary evil.
That being said, most people go a little overboard. If you’re a person who wakes up, looks at your phone, goes to work, looks at a computer screen for 8 hours, then goes home and watches TV until bed, you may have a problem.
The “blue light” emitted from electronic screens has been shown to increase instances of eye strain (and the headaches and blurred vision that come with it) as well as disrupt sleeping patterns. Excessive use of screens can lead to what is called “computer vision syndrome”, which causes neck pain, back pain, double vision, dry and red eyes, as well as eye irritation.
All we’re sayin’ is, it may be a good idea to get out and go on a walk once in a while. But if you really can’t get away from screens, you can try the 20/20/20 method. To do this, set a timer to go off every 20 minutes. Every 20 minutes, your alarm will remind you to look at an object at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This will give your eyes a break, and it’s a good lesson in discipline.
Contact Lens Carelessness
According to this survey, 50% of contact lens wearers report sleeping with their lenses in. 82.3% of contact lens wearers keep their contact lens cases longer than recommended. Other seemingly small infractions include “topping off” the contact lens solution instead of dumping it, using water instead of contact lens solution and wearing a pair of lenses longer than the recommended time.
Contact lens maintenance can be annoying and tedious. But we can think of a few worse things – mainly corneal ulcers and eye infections. It is easier than you think to develop conditions like these. Even skipping one cleaning session or an hour long nap can be enough to give you a nasty infection or ulcer.
Our advice? Stick to the protocol. If you find that you do not have time to keep up with the rigorous hygiene requirements that contact lenses demand, it may be best to start wearing glasses. Even better? Contact Stahl in Manhattan to schedule your LASIK consultation. If you don’t have time to deal with contact lenses, and you hate wearing glasses, LASIK may be right for you!
Cool It With the Eye Drops
Contrary to popular belief, over the counter eye drops do not actually improve your eye health. They make your eyes feel better (for a little while) and reduce redness and irritation (for a little while). But what do they actually do for your eyes?
The chemical used to relieve eye redness, such as in Visine or Clear Eyes, actually constricts blood vessels. This means your eyes look white, but when the chemical wears off, the blood rebounds and looks even worse. This means you use more eye drops to counteract the redness. Can you see how this can turn into a vicious cycle?
If you have severely dry eyes and cannot imagine going without you eye drops, it’s probably time to talk to your eye doctor about better solutions. Eye drops may help in the short term, but can just make matters worse in the long-run.
Passing The Time on The Train
Reading is great for killing time, especially during a long commute on the train. In New York City, it’s common to see people reading during their morning trek to work. But can reading on a moving train (or any other vehicle) actually be harmful?
The answer is: yeah! Reading while moving can actually extend your eyes and make it difficult to focus. This can cause eye strain, which is just bad news in general. Not to mention, for most people, reading while on a moving vehicle can cause motion sickness, headache and even vomiting.
Rubbing Your Eyes (Too Much)Sleeping With Smokey Eyes
Everyone (who wears makeup) has done it. You come home late, glammed up with eyeliner, eyeshadow and maybe even some false lashes, decide to skip the face wash and hit the hay. While this may be more convenient, it’s actually pretty gross.
A lot of things happen when you fall asleep with makeup on. For starters, that foundation and concealer you’re wearing will wreak havoc on your skin, causing dryness and breakouts. Bacteria can even get on your pillowcase and cause further breakouts (if you continue to sleep on it). Yuck!
Your eyes are particularly sensitive though. Every day, your eyes are hard at work keeping bacteria and harmful debris out of your eyes. At night, your eyes do even more clean up, pushing the grossness from the day out into the corners and edges of your eyes. But when you go to bed with makeup on, you’re taking all of the stuff your eyes have collected throughout the day and then… sleeping in it. This is definitely not doing your eyes any favors during their nighttime cleanup and makes you susceptible to bad infections.
Make sure to wash your face every night and thoroughly remove all eye makeup. You’ll feel much better in the morning, and your eyes will thank you.
Avoiding the Eye Doctor
Here at Stahl Eye Experts, it’s not uncommon for patients to come in who have been avoiding an eye doctor for… who knows how long!
We know that a day at the eye doctor’s office is not very ideal but look at it this way. If you come in every two years, that’s one day every 730 days. One day that will make all the difference in your eye health. We think it’s worth it!
If you’re looking for an expert LASIK surgeon in Manhattan, or if you’d like more advice on keeping your eyes healthy, contact Stahl Eye Experts in NYC. Our expert LASIK surgeons have decades of experience and the LASIK patient testimony to back it up. If you’re looking for the best group of eye doctors in Manhattan, look no further than Stahl Eyecare Experts! Contact us today by calling (888) 557-4448 or schedule a LASIK consultation right on our website!