You probably have an idea that your daily habits are affecting aspects of your life such as general health and vitality. But you may not think about how your habits are affecting your eyes.
Smoking. Experts encourage us to avoid or kick this habit for a number of reasons. These range from cancer risk to premature aging of the skin. However smoking has also been linked to ocular conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts. To keep your peepers healthy, stop smoking.
Sunning. Exposure to the UV rays in sunlight can cause sunburn on the skin; a fact of which most of us are aware. What you may not know is that your eyes can also sunburn. On the low end of the spectrum, UV exposure breaks down collagen in the skin around the eyes. To protect internal structures as well as delicate skin, it is recommended that you wear sunglasses that protect against UVA and UVB light. To prevent premature aging in the skin around your eyes, apply appropriate broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
Eating the wrong foods. Perhaps it’s not that you eat the wrong foods, but that you eat too little of the right foods. Ocular structures rely on adequate nutrition just like any other part of the body. We are encouraged to avoid processed foods and to include foods that are rich and omega fatty acids into our diet as often as possible. Additionally, the eyes benefit from the nutrients and fresh fruits and vegetables, so fill your plate with a rainbow of color!
Sleeping. Most of us realize that sleep is vital to our ability to concentrate and to perform at optimal levels. Sleep is also important to the way that our eyes age. Without adequate sleep the eyes may appear blood shot and puffy. Lack of sleep can also cause involuntary twitching of one or both eyes, as well as blurred vision and chronic irritation.
Rubbing. Our inclination is to rub our eyes if they feel tired, dry, or irritated. Rubbing the eyes puts undue stress on the delicate skin on the upper and lower lids. This can expedite the aging process. For that reason, it is beneficial to avoid rubbing your eyes as much as possible. If fine lines and wrinkles such as crow’s feet become a concern, remember that there are cosmetic solutions to minimize their appearance.
One of the best things you can do for your eyes is to schedule annual exams with your eye doctor. These visits measure aspects of eye health such as intraocular pressure and visual acuity. If you have not begun your routine eye exams yet, give us a call to schedule your visit.