Taking care of your eyes is key. After all, who doesn’t want their peepers in top shape? But maintaining healthy eyes may require more than just your annual checkup at the ophthalmologist. Even simple slip-ups like forgetting your sunglasses on a bright day or sleeping in your eye makeup can pose problems for your eyes over time. To help keep your vision sharp, we’re rounding up seven things you should never do to your eyes. Watch the video above or read below to see (get it?) the habits you need to ditch in order to keep your eyes healthy at any age.
1. Sleep in contacts: Even the “overnight wear” contacts can block oxygen from your corneas, potentially resulting in infections and corneal ulcers. Sleep lens-less for any snooze that’s longer than a quick nap.
2. Skimp on eye exams: Be sure to get your eyes checked annually. The once-yearly exam can help eye doctors spot abnormal peeper problems, like a broken blood vessel or tumor that you’re less likely to detect on your own.
3. Apply liner to your waterline: Putting eyeliner inside your lower lashes is risky, since the makeup can mix with your tears, coat contact lenses with particles, and in turn transfer bacteria into the eyes. To be safe, stick to putting eyeliner on outside the lash line only.
4. Wear makeup to bed: Sleeping in eye makeup can clog glands around the eyes, raising your risk of skin irritation, pimples, and styes. Make remover part of your nightly routine.
5. Forget to check your products: Using cleaning solutions, contact lenses, or eye drops after they’ve expired is sure to be less effective. Always make sure your products are still usable, and pay special attention to contact lenses, which tend to break down thanks to the sterile solution they sit in.
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6. Overdo drops: Redness-reducing eye drops make eyes appear normal by temporarily shrinking blood vessels, but there’s a catch. The drops tend to have a rebound effect, meaning they actually make redness worse in the long run. If red eyes are an ongoing issue for you, see your doctor for a diagnosis—and a more sustainable method of treatment.
7. Ditch your sunnies during winter: Yes, the sun can do damage even in the winter. Don sunglasses all year round to prevent corneal burns, skin cancer on the eyelids, cataracts, and macular degeneration. Opt for shades that block 99 to 100 percent of all UVA and UVB rays.