12 Bad Habits That Can Damage Your Eyes and Vision

Having a healthy vision is essential to our everyday lives. From reading and writing to driving a car or enjoying the outdoors, your eyesight plays an essential role in keeping you safe and productive. Unfortunately, many every day habits can damage your eyes and vision over time, and you’re likely engaging in one or more of them.

Whether it’s due to a lack of knowledge or simply not paying enough attention, these bad habits can have long-term consequences on your eye health if left unchecked. Resolve to make a change and break the following damaging habits:

1. Rubbing Your Eyes

Rubbing your eyes may seem harmless and convenient for removing dirt or an itchy sensation, but it can create tiny tears in the delicate skin around them. This activity can lead to increased inflammation and put you at risk of getting an eye infection or damaging your vision long-term.

Regularly rubbing your eyes over a long period has been linked to developing keratoconus, a vision condition that causes irregular astigmatism and blurred vision. This condition can sometimes not be corrected with glasses or contact lenses and may require surgery.

Instead of rubbing your eyes, try using a clean cloth or eye drops to soothe and moisten your eyes. If you’re experiencing chronic itching or discomfort, visit your eye doctor.

Related: 12 Worst Foods for Your Eyes

2. Excessive Screen Time

It’s no secret that excessive time spent looking at screens can damage your eyes, so limit your exposure even if you already wear glasses or contacts. Prolonged screen time forces your eyes to focus on a digital display, which can cause eye strain and dryness in the long run.

If you spend most of your day in front of a computer, phone, or TV screen, make it a habit to take regular breaks throughout the day. Try following the 20-20-20 rule: every twenty minutes spent looking at a digital display, focus on an object at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds. This tactic will give your eyes some much-needed rest and reduce the risk of developing eye strain.

Also, consider investing in blue light-blocking glasses for people who can’t do without a display for long periods. This type of eyewear helps filter the harmful light emitted by digital displays, reducing the risk of headaches and eye strain. 

3. Skipping Eye Exams

Some people may skip regular eye exams to save money, but this habit can have long-term consequences on your vision. Eye exams are designed to detect early signs of common eye conditions and diseases, such as glaucoma or cataracts, that could otherwise go unnoticed until it’s too late.

It’s recommended that adults aged 18-60 get an eye exam at least once every two years, with more frequent appointments if they’re at risk of developing eye conditions or diseases. Eye exams are also the best way to ensure that your current prescription is correct, helping keep your vision sharp and clear.

Related: 20 Bad Habits That Could Make You Blind

4. Smoking and Excessive Drinking

Smoking and excessive drinking are terrible habits that can lead to several health issues, including damage to your eyes and vision.

Smoking has been linked to macular degeneration, cataracts, dry eye syndrome, diabetic retinopathy, and more. Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with decreased night vision, blurred vision, dry eye syndrome, and other issues.

If you’re a smoker or drinker, make a conscious effort to kick these habits for your overall health and vision. While quitting isn’t always easy, there are many resources to help you create a successful quit plan.

5. Sleeping in Contact Lenses

It can be tempting to take a nap or sleep with your contact lenses still in, but it’s a habit that can lead to significant eye damage. When you wear contact lenses for too long or when asleep, oxygen won’t reach the cornea, reducing effectiveness.

Sleeping in contact lenses also increases your risk of developing an eye infection. Bacteria and other germs can accumulate on the lenses while you’re asleep, leading to corneal ulcers caused by bacterial infections.

Related: 25 Bad Habits to Quit RIGHT NOW Before it’s Too Late

6. Not Wearing Sunglasses

Sunglasses protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh UV rays. Without appropriate protection, long-term sun exposure can lead to damaged vision and premature aging of the eyes. It can also increase your risk of developing certain eye diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

When shopping for sunglasses, look for a pair with 100% UV protection from UVA and UVB rays. You also want to choose a pair wide enough to provide full coverage for your eyes and the surrounding areas of your face.

7. Not Eating Healthy

What you eat doesn’t just affect your physical health but also your eye health. A diet low in essential vitamins and minerals can increase the risk of developing certain eye conditions, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

To keep your eyes healthy, incorporate plenty of nutritious foods such as leafy green vegetables, fruit, eggs, whole grains, nuts, fish, and other healthy fats. Limiting processed and sugary snacks can also help protect your vision in the long run.

Related: Discover the 26 Healthiest Foods on the Planet

8. Not Getting Enough Sleep

Without enough rest, your eyes can become strained and dry. Lack of sleep also increases your risk of developing vision problems such as blurry or double vision, dry eye syndrome, and even temporary blindness.

Adults should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep per night to maintain optimal health. If you’re having trouble sleeping, try to create a relaxing environment in your bedroom by dimming the lights and avoiding too much screen time before bed.

9. Not Drinking Enough Water

Staying hydrated is essential for keeping your eyes healthy. Not only does it help reduce eye strain, but it also helps lubricate the eyes and flush out toxins that can build up over time.

Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep your eyes in tip-top shape. If you feel thirsty, it’s a sign that you may already be dehydrated. In addition to plain water, try incorporating other fluids, such as herbal teas and freshly-squeezed juices, into your diet.

Related: The 5 Biggest Benefits of Drinking Water

10. Watching TV at Night

Watching television or using your phone before bed can be tempting, but this habit can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and lead to eye strain. Blue light emitted from screens can also suppress melatonin production in the body, which is responsible for regulating the circadian rhythm.

Try avoiding screens at least 2-3 hours before bedtime and dim the lights in your bedroom to prepare for a good night’s rest. This will help reduce eye strain and maintain healthy vision.

11. Abusing Eye Makeup

Eye makeup is meant to accentuate the eyes, but it can be easy to overdo it. Too much eye makeup can cause irritation and infections due to bacteria buildup. It is best practice to replace your mascara every three months to avoid product contamination.

Using expired products can also put your eyes at risk. Check expiration dates on your eye makeup and other beauty products, and remove your makeup each night before bed.

Related: 10 “Good” Habits That Are Actually Bad for You

12. Overusing Eyedrops

Eye drops are a great way to relieve the symptoms of dry, itchy eyes. However, overusing these products can increase the risk of developing side effects and infections. It’s best to consult your eye doctor before using any eyedrops and follow their recommendations. You should only use most products as needed and in moderation.


Your eyes play an essential role in daily life, so take care of them. These tips can help protect your vision and maintain healthy eyes over time. If you’re experiencing any vision problems or unexplained changes in your eyesight, contact your eye doctor immediately for a complete eye exam and diagnosis.

Remember, protecting your vision is essential for living a healthy life! Take care of your eyes today to enjoy clear vision.

This article was produced on Health Makes You.

Jude Uchella

Jude Uchella is a passionate research writer whose work has been published on many reputable platforms, including MSN, Wealth of Geeks, and more! He prioritizes research, writes comprehensively, and only shares factual and helpful content. He is a reader’s delight!

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