Your eyes are an important part of your physical health and also your quality of life. Unfortunately, many people take their eyes and vision health for granted. Certain habits may not seem like big problems, but these habits can actually affect the underlying health of your eyes and your vision quality. Thankfully, help is available if you want to protect your eye health.
This guide and your eye doctor will help you stop making a few common mistakes that can hurt your eyes.
1. Avoiding the Eye Doctor
One of the most common and one of the worst mistakes you can make is avoiding the eye doctor. Regular visits to the eye doctor are imperative for a few reasons.
Eye exams will help determine if you have issues affecting your vision quality, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Once detected, you can begin correcting your vision quickly by wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Although important for your actual eyesight, regular eye exams are also crucial for determining if you are at risk of any eye disorders. Exams are important for early detection, which is key for preventing certain disorders, such as cataracts and glaucoma, from worsening.
When you see an eye doctor depends on a few factors, including your age, health, and if you have a family history of eye disorders. If you are between the ages of 18 and 60 and have no current issues, eye exams are recommended every two years. If you are over 60 years of age, seeing your eye doctor once a year is best.
2. Rubbing your Eyes
Everyone experiences an itch or slight discomfort in and around the eyes. Even though it can be beneficial and pain-relieving in some cases, rubbing the eyes excessively can do more harm than good.
Your hands will carry numerous germs and bacteria, which can be easily transmitted if you rub and scratch your eyes. Germs, bacteria, and even loose dirt or dead skin cells could become trapped inside your eyes, increasing your risk of allergies and even infections.
If you rub your eyes in an attempt to remove a fleck of dirt or another particle, you may end up pushing the foreign object further into the eye, scratching or even damaging the lens or cornea.
Recent studies have also shown constantly rubbing your eyes could wear down the cornea. Known as keratoconus, this thinning of the cornea can greatly distort your vision.
Instead of rubbing your eyes, consider flushing the eye out with a saline solution or artificial tears. If this is not successful, visit your eye doctor for assistance.
3. Not Wearing Sunglasses
Another mistake you may be making is not wearing sunglasses. To understand why sunglasses are important, you need to understand how the sun can be so dangerous to your eyes.
The sun's ultraviolet rays are harmful to your skin and your eyes. Constant exposure, which you may not even realize you are receiving, can weaken the cornea and lens, increasing the risk of cataracts and glaucoma. Although shocking to learn, 20 percent of cataract cases stem from UV exposure.
The constant exposure to the sun's rays can also affect your vision. UV exposure can damage the retina, as well, leading to macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of blindness in the United States.
Wearing sunglasses, whether you need prescription lenses or not, can block out ultraviolet radiation, protecting your eye's overall health. When you choose sunglasses, opt for lenses that block out 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation for the most effective protection.
Protecting your eyes and vision is possible with proper understanding and professional care. For more information on caring for your eyes and vision, contact Family Eye Care.