6 mistakes we make with our eyesight

Why do we wear sunglasses at home in the dark? And why don’t we take off our contact lenses when we get in the shower? The truth is, even actions that seem completely harmless can cause more damage to your eyes than you realize, says Dr. Thomas Steinman, a spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

“When it comes to your vision, prevention is key,” he explains. “All it takes to prevent major problems is to take a few small, simple and easy steps.

Otherwise, you can end up with problems that are not so easily solved and can even lead to blindness. We asked several reputable ophthalmologists what the most common mistakes we make with our lenses are.

1. We don’t wear sunglasses in winter

People rarely wear sunglasses in winter, even though ultraviolet rays still reach the Earth at this time of year. Even reflecting in the snow and ice, they increase their overall exposure. “UV rays can cause melanomas and carcinomas of the eyelids, lead to problems like cataracts and macular degeneration,” says Dr. Christopher Rapuano, chief of corneal research at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. He recommends wearing glasses even on cloudy days.

2. Rubbing your eyes

Maybe you won’t go blind if you rub your eyes occasionally to dislodge an eyelash or a speck of dust, but if you do it regularly, it’s not a bad habit to break. says Rapuano. “Chronic wiping or rubbing the eyes increases the chances of keratoconus, which means thinning of the cornea,” he explains.

The condition may even require surgery. His advice? If you have an irritant in your eye, use artificial tears or just tap water.

3. Anti-redness eye drops

If sometimes due to an allergy you use these drops that constrict the blood vessels in the eye, it is not scary. It’s dangerous if you use them daily, as your eyes become addicted, says Rapuano.

They will need more and more drops, and their effect will last shorter and shorter. However, if you have eye redness that lasts more than a day or two, seek advice from your doctor.

4. Showering with contact lenses

Any water from the tap, pool or rain can contain acanthus amoeba, which, if it sticks to your lenses, can eat away at the cornea of ​​the eye and eventually lead to blindness.

Either disinfect your lenses after bathing and swimming, or discard them and replace with a new pair after exiting the water. And never use tap water to rinse your lenses.

5. Sleeping with contact lenses

Sleeping with contact lenses increases the risk of infection between five and ten times, says Steinman. This is because when sleeping with contact lenses, germs stay longer between them and the eyes and can lead to problems. Reduced airflow also reduces the eye’s ability to fight infections, the specialist adds.

6. Not changing your contact lenses on time

If you wear your lenses for daily use, change them every day. If they are monthly, replace them once a month. “I’m always surprised by how many people say they only change their lenses when the old ones start bothering them,” says Steinman.

Even if you’re picky about the disinfectant solution, lenses act as a magnet for germs and dirt, he explains. And this increases the risk of infection. Disinfect your lenses after each use, replace them as directed by the manufacturer.

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