Woman in a field wearing sunglasses and holding flowers.

We don’t have to tell you: your eyes are important! Poets call them the “windows to your soul” for a good reason. They reflect you in so many ways, shining a light on your personality and reflecting the mood you’re in at any given moment. What’s more, your vision is important, and taking good care of your eyes can lead to better visual clarity as well as greater eye comfort.

We’ve compiled a list of habits that we recommend our patients avoid, because they can age your eyes prematurely. By avoiding them, you’ll be helping your eyes and protecting your vision!

Rubbing Your Eyes Too Much

Everyone rubs their eyes from time to time. We may do so when we wake up in the morning, or when we’re feeling tired. Perhaps they’re itchy and we’re trying to rub the itch away! For whatever reason, all of us rub our eyes, but doing so habitually can create issues.

The skin around your eyes is sensitive, and too much rubbing of the region can lead to any of the following:

  • Breaking tiny blood vessels
  • Increasing the appearance of dark under-eye circles
  • Puffy eyes
  • Drooping eyelids
  • Developing crow’s feet prematurely

What’s more, excessively touching your eyes and the regions around them can lead to a higher risk of developing an infection, such as pink eye. Also called conjunctivitis, this condition can be caused by bacteria, viruses, or allergens.

So avoid rubbing your eyes, but if you feel you must rub them a little, try to wash your hands first to avoid infecting the region.

Failing To Protect Against Sun

You probably wear sunscreen when you go outside in order to protect your skin from the sun’s more dangerous rays. But do you protect your eyes? They are just as sensitive as your skin is. Protect them by wearing sunglasses, and make sure to wear the right type that provides true protection against the damaging effects of UV rays. Extended exposure can lead to a number of issues, including cataracts. Wear sunglasses outdoors to avoid damage to your eyes or eyelids, even on overcast days.

Not Staying Hydrated

Our bodies need water! Your eyes are no exception. Staying hydrated means that you’ll produce enough tears to lubricate your eyes (and you thought tears were just for crying). Drink plenty of water to ensure enough tear production to take care of the following eye-protective tasks:

  • Keep your eyes moist
  • Bring them nourishment
  • Protect the cornea
  • Wash away dirt and debris
  • Flush out irritants
  • Deliver antibodies to fight bacteria

As you can see, tears are important, and drinking plenty of water will help you produce enough to keep your eyes lubricated and healthy. What’s more, staying hydrated means that your eyelids and the skin around your eyes will be healthier, giving your eyes a better appearance overall.

Smoking

It’s not just bad for your lungs. Smoking has a negative impact on everything from your skin to your eyes. At the very least, smoking can create dry eyes, but it can contribute to more serious conditions, too, including macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. For the health of your eyes, and for your overall health, it’s best to stop smoking.

Not Sleeping Enough

Your body benefits in countless ways when you sleep, and you need to sleep enough hours each night to enjoy these benefits to the fullest. Here are some important reasons your body (including your brain) needs you to get enough sleep:

  • Your long-term memories are stored safely
  • Muscles, organs, and cells are repaired
  • Your immune system is strengthened
  • The right levels of hormone production are stimulated
  • Your eyes recover from the strains of the day
  • Your tear supply is replenished

To give your eyes a much-needed break, and to help avoid symptoms of dry eye throughout the day, be sure to get enough sleep (at least seven hours every night, but preferably eight).

Eating Poorly

Your eyes need nutrition! The same vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help other systems of your body help the tissues of your eyes stay healthy. The healthier your eyes are, the better your vision will be. Eat a healthy diet to ensure your eyes get the nutrition they need to serve you well.

Are there specific items you should be including in your diet on a regular basis? For your eyes, try to incorporate the following:

  • For healthier blood vessels in your eyes, eat bell peppers, strawberries, and other foods rich in vitamin C
  • So long as you’re not allergic, consume nuts and seeds to get enough vitamin E to protect your eyes against macular degeneration and cataracts
  • Dark, leafy greens offer carotenoids and vitamins that protect against eye diseases
  • To get vitamin A, which helps with night vision, eat orange-colored fruits and vegetables, including sweet potatoes, carrots, and apricots
  • Beans, peas, and lentils deliver the trace minerals needed by your eyes, including zinc

Of course, your body will benefit overall from a healthy diet. For both your vision and general wellness, incorporate a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and legumes to get the nutrition you need.

Your Eye Doctor In Gleneagle

We hope you’ve enjoyed today’s blog and benefited from our tips. Breaking these habits will help protect your eyes and keep your vision clear. Something else you can do is visit an optometrist for an eye exam to check the health of your eyes and your visual acuity. If you find yourself suffering from headaches or eye strain, it could be that you need a new eyeglass or contact lens prescription.

If you are in or near Gleneagle, CO, reach out to Spectrum Eye Care. Our optometrist helps patients of all ages to see better and find relief from conditions that are common in our area, including allergies and dry eye symptoms.

Our eye center is here for you whether you need new glasses or contacts, or you’re looking for pediatric vision services for your child. Our optometrist also specializes in senior age-related conditions, including cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration. To schedule your next eye appointment, contact Spectrum Eye Care today!