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Reusing One-Day Contact Lenses and Seven Other Habits that Hurt Your Eyes

We all grew up being told not to sit too close to the television, not to read in low light, and not to rub our eyes with dirty hands. Yet, many of us still risk damaging the health of our eyes every day through simple neglect.

For instance, have you ever kept your daily contact lenses in for more than one day? Reusing one-day contact lenses is a big problem that can damage your vision. Aside from that, here are 7 more habits to avoid:

1. Staring at Screens

Spending too much time using electronic devices is bad for our mental health, our relationships, and of course, our eyesight. Research conducted by the University of Sydney found that excessive screen time had an adverse effect on children’s eyes. In fact, it can actually narrow the retinal blood vessels and cause long term damage.

In the past, reading was the main cause of damaged eyesight. Today, smartphones have kicked that damage into high gear. A combination of small text, toxic blue light, and our tendency to blink less when staring at screens is putting us all at greater risk of macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. Not to mention, we are all experiencing more health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle. What do Doctors advise? You guessed it: Put your devices down and go outside.

man staring into smartphone

2. Rubbing Your Eyes

We all know not to rub our eyes after working in the garden or getting messy in the kitchen. But did you know that rubbing your eyes, even with clean hands, can cause corneal damage?

That’s right: whenever you rub your eyes, you risk transmitting germs that cause infections like conjunctivitis. What’s more, if there’s a foreign body in your eye, rubbing it can inadvertently scratch your cornea.

In addition, your eyes are fragile and excessive rubbing can lead to keratoconus, a disorder in which the cornea weakens and takes on a conical shape. Any disfigurement of the cornea will affect your sight.

How to avoid rubbing your eyes? Since tears are your eyes’ natural cleanser, the next time you feel like rubbing, blink instead. This will moisten your eyes so you won’t feel the need to rub.

3. Overusing Eye-Drops

Sometimes your tears can’t provide enough moisture to hydrate your eyes. In this instance, it is appropriate to use eye drops. Yet, over-the-counter eye drops come with their own potential side effects.

Redness reducing eye drops constrict the eye blood vessels and mask the look of tired eyes, but overuse of these drops causes irritation. Hiding redness may also mask an underlying health issue so be sure to have your eyes checked periodically.

Even artificial tears can irritate your eyes. Many brands contain preservatives that give the drops a longer shelf life. However, those pesky hidden chemicals cause damage in the long term. And finally, most eye drops simply aren’t suitable for long-term use. So, to be on the safe side, it’s best to use one time eye drops. Purchase these via convenient single use vials through your pharmacy or eye doctor.

4. Not Choosing the Best One-Day Contact Lenses

You should never skimp on the health of your eyes or longevity of your sight.

Leading ophthalmologists recognize that multiple use contact lenses are not the most hygienic or convenient way to look after your sight. In fact, the most common cause of cornea infections in contact lens wearers is using inappropriate fluid to store or clean lenses. This bad habit can lead to toxic keratopathy.

If you make the switch to the best one-day contact lenses you’re able to afford, you never have to clean them. This stops germs from latching onto your lenses when they’re out of your eyes.

woman reusing one-day contact lens

The good news is, today, there are a number of one-day contact lens brands available to suit your budget. So, keeping your eyes healthy has never been easier.

5. Bad Makeup Habits

It’s said ‘cleanliness is next to Godliness’. Likewise, some of the worst habits that hurt your eyesight come down to unhygienic make up practices.

Why are some makeup habits bad for your eyes, you ask?

To start, the entire eye area, particularly the eyelids and base of the eyelashes, is prone to infection. Using makeup brushes that haven’t been cleaned in, oh I don’t know, forever, or sharing makeup brushes with friends puts you at risk of serious infections

In addition, cosmetics contain a cocktail of chemicals which can damage your tender eye area. Therefore always test products on skin before applying them to your eyes.

What’s more, always remove your make up at night with a suitable product. And finally, never use expired makeup! If you’re the kind of person who considers the expiry date on food a mere suggestion, it might be hard for you to throw away an expensive half-used mascara. But remember that make up expiry dates are there to protect you from bacteria build-up. So don’t take the risk, just to save a few bucks!

6. Not Bothering with Safety Goggles

Statistics studied by the AAO (American Academy of Ophthalmology) show that half of all eye injuries each year occur in and around the home. Despite this high number, only 35% of people surveyed by the AAO said they wore protective eyewear when doing home repairs. Shocking, right?

The scary thing is, there are hundreds of scenarios where a simple cleaning task, basic repair, or DIY resulted in a serious eye injury. But they all could’ve been prevented by wearing goggles. Think about it: We protect furniture with dust sheets and clothes with overalls when we do home repairs and beautifications, right? If something happens to these items, you can replace them. But if your eyes are damaged during your DIY project, you can’t run to the store for a new set.

So always protect your eyes with safety goggles. Yes, they may look dorky, but they could save your sight!

man using power saw at home

7. Getting Your Contact Lenses Wet

Getting your contact lenses wet with anything other than the natural moisture inside your eye or specially formulated cleaning solution is a very, very, VERY bad idea.

That’s why you should never wear your contact lenses in the shower, or rinse them under a faucet. While this may seem harmless, ordinary water (even drinking water!) is teeming with harmful bacteria.

Want to hear something creepier? Water can also contain an amoeba known as acanthamoeba. This microorganism can cause a serious eye infection that can lead to blindness. So be sure to take out your lenses before showering, swimming, or even jumping in the hot tub. Then, after your soak or swim, be sure to use new one-day contact lenses. And always carry a spare set. Because when it’s hot out, sometimes you just can’t help getting wet!

dad and kids enjoy a fun water fight
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