Excessive time with technology aside, the quality of your eyesight depends largely on your genes. Yet another thing to blame on the 'rents: You're more likely to need glasses if Mom and Dad both wear them. Still, you can do a lot to keep your eyes healthy.
Put down the cigarettes. Puffing away narrows blood vessels all over the body, including in the eyes, upping the risk of macular degeneration and serious optic nerve damage.
Use self-tannerÃ¢â‚¬”and splurge on shades. Frequent UV exposure can increase your risk of cataracts and melanoma (yes, on your eyeballs). Whenever you're out in the sun, wear sunglasses that block 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays.
Shelve the redness-removing drops. That little bottle may help hide a hangover, but products that relieve redness work by cutting off blood flow to the eyes. Prolonged use can lead to rebound redness, a burning irritation, or damaged corneas.
Try a warm compress. Eye glands and tear ducts can clog easily, and then become infected. Lay a damp washcloth over your eyes for 10 minutes once a week to loosen things up.
Eat a dark green salad. Yes, carrots are good. But the antioxidants found in leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, also protect vision. Throw in some salmon or flaxseed while you're at it: Studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids help counteract dry eyes.
Practice visual hygiene. Wash your hands before handling contact lenses, and never wear them longer than recommended. Bad lens habits can lead to infections and painful corneal ulcers.
Schedule regular checkups. You book annual exams for your general health and should do the same for your eyes. Your doc will check your prescription and look out for other eye issues, like glaucoma. She can also keep tabs on any possible CVS-related vision changes, so speak up about your screen time.