Seven eye health mistakes that put your sight at risk

Taking your eyes for granted and neglecting problems can put you at risk.

Seven eye health mistakes that put your sight at risk

Vision loss is one of the most common conditions associated with depression for older people, a study has revealed. The Blue Mountains Eye Study has also shown a strong link between visual impairment and falls in older adults. Another study revealed that reduced vision in older people increases their risk of having a car accident.

Many of us take our eyesight for granted and are likely to ignore problems until it’s too late. Here are the top seven mistakes we make when it comes to the health of our eyes.

Not wearing sunglasses
Many of us only remember to wear sunglasses on particularly sunny days, and even then, they’re often overlooked when heading out. Ultraviolet rays from the sun increase our chances of developing conditions such as pterygium (when a pinkish tissue grows across the eye), molecular degeneration and cataracts. provides a daily UV forecast so you can work out when your eyes might be at risk and remember to wear sunglasses that block out both UVA and UVB rays.

Ignoring your injured or irritated eyes
If you’ve injured your eyes, don’t wait to see if the symptoms will improve on their own. Visit your eye doctor as soon as possible if you:

  • can see blood on your eye
  • find it difficult to move an eye
  • notice that your pupils are different sizes
  • can’t open your eye
  • have trouble seeing..


Spending too much time looking at screens
In this digital era it’s easy to lose track of the time we spend looking at screens. Focusing on a screen can damage our vision, so it’s important to follow the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes, look away for 20 seconds at something 20 ft away, as recommended by WebMD. Blue light from screens can prematurely age our eyes. Research suggests that too much exposure to blue light may cause eye strain, retina damage and age-related macular degeneration. To protect yourself against this, reduce your screen time or even look into filters and computer glasses that reduce the amount of blue light emanating from your computer screen.

Not knowing your family history
Research shows that there are over 360 hereditary eye diseases. Researchers believe that macular degeneration and glaucoma, two of the most common causes of blindness, may be linked to genetics. Make sure that you know of any eye conditions in your family so that you can flag them with your doctor. This may help with early detection.

Causing your own eye infections
Even simple mistakes, such as rubbing your eyes or sleeping with makeup on can cause particles and bacteria to enter your eyes and cause infection. Neglecting to clean your contact lenses in the recommended solution or not changing them out as recommended can put your eye hygiene at risk. Similarly, sleeping or showering with your contact lenses in can allow germs to take hold and cause infection.

Not having a yearly eye check-up
Once we hit the age of 40 it’s important for us to have an annual eye exam, just to make sure that everything is working as it should. This can help with the early detection of issues that could later cause vision impairment. If you have experienced changes in your vision or have any concerns about the health of your eyes, visit your eye doctor as soon as possible.

As with many medical conditions, smoking is likely to harm your eyes. Smoking may increase your chances of developing cataracts and having macular degeneration, and can damage your optic nerve, cause blind spots or blurry vision. Visit Quit or How to quit smoking for more information.

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    Disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.


    To make a comment, please register or login
    14th Aug 2019
    Two years ago, I had cataracts removed and Intraocular Lenses {IOL} inserted into both eyes. Within days of the operation, my eyes were swollen and sore, and I struggled to see properly. When I returned to the opthamologist {I had to be driven over 300 km}, he claimed that I was not following the correct procedure for administering the eye drop regime, but reluctantly agreed to change eye drops. A month later, I was still struggling to see properly. I had to sit in his waiting room wearing sunglasses as the light was too bright. When I questioned him about my eyes, he showed little empathy, and when I asked him about returning to work, he said "Tomorrow". even though I was unable to drive as sunlight was too bright, even with sunglasses. I had tried driving at night, but there was a HALO around headlights, traffic lights, street lights etc. The opthalmologist assured me that my brain would sort it out and that I would be able to drive at night. Two years later, I am still unable to drive at night, I have to constantly wear sunglasses when outside, I have to use magnified glasses to read any text, and increase font size on the computer. It has had a profound affect on my ability to critique and process photos from my passion for photography and taking photos in the great outdoors.
    I recently went to see another eye specialist, who diagnosed a type of Dysphotopsia, for which there is no cure, at this stage .
    14th Aug 2019
    Yes Sally never be afraid to get a second opinion, as soon as possible if you are not happy. No-one knows your body as well as you.. All the best with your sight, and I hope things improve for you.
    14th Aug 2019
    I have been wearing glasses since entering the workforce, and have always had my eyes regularly checked. In the past 10 years, I have had my eyes checked each year, in accordance with my GP's and Optician's recommendations. I now use clip on polarizing lenses over my glasses to try to protect my eyes against the cataracts that are just becoming visible in both of my eyes. I don't know if the reading lenses that I use in front of my computer have any correction for the blue light that would be emanating from my displays, so the next time that I'm down at the shopping centre where I get my glasses from, I will ask them what the situation about them is, as these glasses are only a bit over a month old.

    Tags: health, eye, vision, risk

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