6 Things You Do Every Day That Destroy Your Eyesight
Cover one eye and read this. Now try the other one.
Were you struggling to see clearly out of either eye? If so, then your eyes are sending you an SOS. You’re not alone.
“I’m seeing more vision trouble with younger guys these days,” says Men’s Health advisor Kimberly Cockerham, M.D., a clinical associate professor of ophthalmology at Stanford University.
Cases of myopia (nearsightedness) are spiking, and glaucoma, cataracts, and other eye conditions are also on the rise.
One major culprit is screen use (phone, tablet, TV, laptop). But stress, poor nutrition, smoking, and obesity can also sap your sight.
Related: The Dangers Of Waiting Too Long to Get Your Eyes Checked
In fact, anything that hurts your heart will strain your eyes. See clearly now and in the future by avoiding these mistakes.
(For more ways to keep your body working in prime condition, check out the Men’s Health Better Man Project. It’s packed with 2,000+ scientific tips and tricks for living a healthier, more fulfilling life.)HOW LOOKING AT SCREENS RUINS YOUR VISION
Blue light from your devices may be linked to macular degeneration, an impairment of your central vision.
Plus, not blinking fully while staring at a screen can cause “computer vision syndrome”—dryness, pain, and fatigue.
SAVE YOUR SIGHT: Keep any screen at least 16 inches from your face, and bump up the text size, says Mark Rosenfield, Ph.D., of SUNY College of Optometry.
Related: The Best Eyeglasses For MenHOW STRESS RUINS YOUR VISION
The stress hormone cortisol can lead to impaired retinal function.
This can result in a condition known as central serous chorio-retinopathy (CSCR), a buildup of liquid that causes blurry vision.
SAVE YOUR SIGHT: Exercise and meditation can slash stress. Or rock out regularly: An hour at a live music event can lower cortisol levels by 25 percent, a U.K. study found.
Related: 8 Weird Signs You’re Way Too Stressed OutHow reading too close to your face ruins your vision
The closer you hold something to your face—a phone, a book—the harder your eyes work. This strain may cause your eyeballs to elongate, possibly resulting in myopia.
SAVE YOUR SIGHT: Use the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a break and look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.
Look out a window if you can; broad vistas help your eyes relax.
Related: Why Bookworms Are 20% Less Likely to Die an Early DeathHow being clumsy ruins your vision
Blunt trauma to the eye—say, from an errant ball or elbow—is the most common cause of vision loss in young men.
One nightmare is a detached retina, which can also result from any violent head movement—even an intense sneeze.
Related: 9 Horrible Things That Can Happen To Your Eyes
SAVE YOUR SIGHT: Wear protective glasses when you play sports. If you do take a hit and then notice spots or arcs of flashing light, head immediately to the ER.How Skipping Leafy Greens Ruins Your Vision
Avoiding leafy greens means you miss out on nutrients, such as nitrates and lutein, that can help ward off glaucoma and macular degeneration.
SAVE YOUR SIGHT: Nitrates help promote bloodflow to the retina.
A recent study found that people who eat 240 milligrams a day (a cup of spinach) are 30 percent less likely to develop glaucoma than greens haters.
Related: Grill Crunchy Chips From Healthy GreensHow Carrying Extra Weight And Smoking Ruins Your Vision
If you’re a smoker, obese, or both, your risk of glaucoma, cataracts, macular degeneration, and other eye diseases skyrockets by as much as 300 percent.
Related: STUDY: 1 In 3 Obese Men Won’t Make It To Their 70th Birthdays
SAVE YOUR SIGHT: Lose the extra weight (duh) and ditch the cancer sticks (double duh). Eating a diet that’s rich in fatty fish, fruits, and vegetables (especially those high in vitamin C and zinc) is beneficial for eye health.