As an optometrist, my usual responsibilities are to prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. But, in my opinion, my most important task is to safeguard my patients’ eyes from anything that might harm their vision or eye health.
- What can damage your eyes?
- What’s bad for your eyesight?
- How can you ruin your eyesight?
These are some of the questions I’ll be answering in this article. So, if you ever wondered if the foods that you eat or your daily habits and activities are in some way damaging your vision, read on to find out!
The Foods You Eat May Damage Your Eyes
Living in the United States, we are both cursed and blessed by the plentiful food choices we are exposed to daily. It’s almost impossible not to eat a hamburger, hot dogs, donuts, and candy, especially when leading a busy lifestyle.
However, there are certain foods to stay away from:
- Processed Meats – Meats such as red meat, sausages, and deli meats contain preservatives, saturated fats, and cholesterol.
- Fried Foods – French fries, churros, and fried chicken are delicious but contain unhealthy fats.
- Candy – Candy contains saturated fats and processed sugars, which are converted to unhealthy fats.
- White Foods – Foods such as pasta, white bread, and rice contain high amounts of sugar that can be detrimental to your body.
All these foods can clog the arteries and veins inside your eye and release free radicals that can damage the tissues of your eyes. Also, the wrong foods can contribute to a wide variety of eye diseases like Macular Degeneration, Cataracts, and Glaucoma.
Habits that Can Damage Your Eyes
Most of us fall into habits as we go about our daily lives. However, some of those habits that make our lives run more smoothly can ultimately damage our eyes.
Here are some everyday habits that damage your eyes in the long term:
- Digging Into Your Eyes – Depending on the season, many of us suffer from allergies which can lead to itchy eyes. It’s natural to rub them to relieve the intense itch. However, rubbing your eyes may lead to an abrasion, which needs immediate medical treatment.
- Too Much Computer Time – In our digital age, we spend many of our waking hours looking at monitors, laptops, and smartphone screens. Our eyes were not designed to look at a fixed point for hours, which may lead to eye strain, headache, and a change in our eyeglass prescriptions.
- Smoking – Smoking is bad for your health, but it is also bad for your eyes. An obvious consequence is the fumes that irritate your eyes, but smoking also leads to eye diseases like Cataracts, Macular Degeneration, and worsening eye conditions like Diabetic Retinopathy.
Not Wearing Sunglasses – It’s easy to think of sunglasses as a fashion statement, but sunglasses play a vital role in protecting your eyes. The sun emits ultraviolet rays that damage our eyes and degrade and destroy the tissues in the back of the eye called the retina.
Ultraviolet rays can trigger Macular Degeneration, accelerate Cataract growth, and cause tissues to grow and block the eye from seeing. All these consequences can be prevented by simply wearing your sunglasses every time you go outdoors.
- Not Wearing Protective Eyewear – At my office, I routinely must dig wood, plastic, and metal from someone’s eye because they were working with grinders, hammers, saws, and power tools that shot a projectile right into their eye. It wasn’t a fun experience for them or me. By wearing the right protective eye equipment, you are saving yourself from a lot of excruciating pain and possible blindness.
Habits are hard to break, but the wrong habits can literally blind you. Remembering the wrong habits I discussed above will go a long way in preventing a painful and catastrophic event when it comes to your eyes.
Your eyesight is precious. Eighty percent of how you experience the world is through your eyes. It is extremely important that you protect your eyes from anything that might endanger them.
Getting an annual eye exam is crucial in safeguarding your vision. I can personally vouch for this since, during a routine eye exam, I have detected diseases and medical conditions that would have blinded my patient if they were not caught in time.
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