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Don’t let these bad habits hurt your eyes

Our eyes help us to see the world around us. They make it possible for us to drive, read the written word and observe the beauty of Mother Nature. They’re also incredibly durable. However, they aren’t invincible. Ask yourself, are you taking care of your eyes the best way you can? Afterall, we only get one set during our lifetime.

Here’s a closer look at some bad habits that can cause damage to your eyes over time. The good news? They are easy to avoid.

Portrait of a beautiful young smiling woman on grass

Not wearing sunglasses. Every time you go outside, your eyes are exposed to the sun’s powerful rays. This includes the winter and times when its cloudy. These rays don’t just damage your skin, they can negatively impact the health of your eyes as well. While you can’t slap on sunscreen for your eyes, you can protect them from harmful UV-rays by wearing sunglasses. Keep a pair by your keys so you remember to grab them each day. Or keep a pair in your car’s glove compartment. Soon, wearing sunglasses will feel like second nature and you’ll probably feel some relief from your eyes. We can help you select a great pair that will provide the protection your eyes need. You can opt for prescription sunglasses, too!

Staring at electronic screens. Most of us stare at screens all day long. Modern work involves spending long periods of time looking at electronic screens. Whether you’re writing emails to colleagues or using a smartphone to catch up on the latest news, all of that screen time causes strain. There’s actually a name for this condition: computer vision syndrome. If your job requires you to work at a computer for lengthy periods of time, make sure to take frequent breaks and look away from your workspace whenever possible. Be aware of how much time you spend looking at screens each day and make sure you allocate time to give your eyes a proper break. You should also turn down the brightness on your computer and phone screen to give your eyes some relief. Think about spending a few hours electronics-free each day, too.

Sleeping with your contacts in. No matter which kind of contacts you wear, follow all usage guidelines and recommendations. It’s vital for keeping your eyes healthy. There are many people who either forget to take their contacts out when they sleep or don’t think sleeping in contacts can damage their eyes. However, contacts limit the amount of oxygen our eyes receive. At night, our eyes get even less oxygen. If you’re sleeping with contact in, the decreased amount of oxygen can mean your eyes can’t fight infections as well. Shorter term, it can also cause scratched corneas, red eyes and eye pain. We can help you with the proper care and wear of your contacts.

Smoking. We know smoking and vaping are bad for our health, but they’re also bad for your eye health. Smoking is linked to increase risk for multiple eye disease, such as macular degeneration and cataracts. In fact, smokers are four times more likely to lose vision compared to non-smokers. Quitting the habit, no matter how long you’ve smoked, can drastically cut down on these risks.

Poor eating and drinking habits. You are what you eat. Turns out, your eyes are what you eat, too. If you’re not getting proper nutrition, you eye sight can also suffer. A well-rounded diet is a great way to prevent many eye diseases and keep your whole body health. Likewise, not drinking enough water is also harmful for your eyes. Without proper hydration, you eyes cannot produce lubricating tears. This can cause dry and puffy eyes.

Have any vision concerns? We’re here to help. And don’t forget, if it’s time to schedule your annual eye exam or stock up on contacts, contact the team at Utah Eye Centers today: (801) 476-0494.