People often say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. So, it makes total sense that you’d want to keep your peepers in working shape – after all, you only get one set.
Because sight is frequently something many take for granted, BlackDoctor.org enlisted Benjamin Ticho, MD of The Eye Specialists Center in Chicago Ridge, IL to break down five things to NEVER do to your eyes.
1. Don’t rub your eyes.
Washing your hands after using the restroom doesn’t only apply to restaurant employees. There’s good reason you should wash your hands before reaching for your eyes. Sure, it’s only natural if something itches – eyes included – to scratch it. However, rubbing your eyes before practicing good hygiene can have harmful side effects.
Not only are you at risk of infections like pink eye but chronic eye rubbing can lead to thinning of the cornea. That in turn can lead to recurring infections or worse, keratoconus. This condition causes deterioration of vision that in many cases can’t be fully corrected.
2. Don’t sleep in your contact lenses.
This rule also applies to “extended wear contact lenses (which are sold as overnight lenses),” says Dr. Ticho. According to this expert, overnight lenses “increase the risk of corneal infection (ulcers) several hundred percent when worn while sleeping.”
Corneal ulcers, described as inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye, can result in pain, excessive tearing, sensation of a foreign body in the eye, and worsening or blurry vision, according to the National Eye Institute.