Blog post by: Eye Physicians of Long Beach

Stuck inside? More than ever before, general hygiene, especially eye care, is important! But what counts as good eye care, anyway? Keep reading for 6 tips on caring for your eyes in Long Beach!

1. Don’t wear your contacts to bed

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We’ve probably all done it, but the last thing you should ever do is sleep in your contact lenses! This is honestly one of the worst things you can do to your eyes.

Part of the problem with sleeping in your contact lenses is the fact that oxygen cannot get into your eyes. Oxygen deprived eyes may be dry, itchy, irritated, and cause you immense discomfort.

If you do it accidentally, your eyes can recover. But if you make it a habit to sleep in your contacts, your eyes may pay the price.

Sleeping in your contact lenses may cause you to get an eye infection. It could also lead to damage to the cornea, like scratching it or corneal abrasions.

Do you and your eyes a favor and always take your contacts out before going to sleep, including before you take a nap. Your eyes will be much happier!

2. Don’t rub your eyes for any reason

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Now that it’s spring, we’re in the midst of allergy season and the frustrating symptoms that come along with it. Dry, itchy, eyes are the norm during this time.

The natural instinct when your eyes are irritated or bothering you is to rub them, of course. But here’s the thing: rubbing your eyes is again, one of the WORST things you can do to your eyes!

What makes rubbing your eyes so dangerous? There are several reasons you shouldn’t rub your eyes. The first is rubbing your eyes can actually lead to an increased risk of infection.

Your hands touch everything: your face, your hair, your workspace, and anything around you. When you rub your eyes with your hands, you are effectively transmitting all the bacteria from your hands to your eyes.

Even if you wash your hands frequently, you will continue to touch things throughout the day. Another reason why you shouldn’t rub your eyes is that you could introduce a foreign body into your eyes.

In some cases, this could be big enough to scratch your cornea and cause serious damage. So if you can’t rub your eyes, how can you relieve the irritation you feel, especially during allergy season?

If your eyes are bothering you, use artificial tears or eye drops to relieve any irritation or discomfort you’re experiencing. If you find that you have allergens in your eyes, you can use an over-the-counter eye drop or a sterile saline solution.

You can use this to flush out any allergens like pollen that are continuing to cause you irritation.

3. Be smart when it comes to eye makeup

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You may love wearing mascara to make your eyes and lashes look bigger, but do you know when to throw out your eye makeup? For healthier eyes, experts recommend replacing your eye makeup every three months.

If you get an eye infection, throw out ALL your eye makeup immediately. Bacteria from these eye infections can live on surfaces like your makeup for weeks or months after.

The last thing you would want to do is give yourself the same eye infection after you recover because you wore eye makeup with the infection on it. If you have sensitive skin or know that you have allergies, make sure to choose hypoallergenic products.

Never sleep in your eye makeup, as the particles from your mascara or eye shadow could end up in your eye. This could lead to irritation, your cornea getting scratched, or any other number of complications.

4. Always wash your hands before handling your contact lenses

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If you wear contact lenses, you should always wash your hands before handling your contacts. That means you need to wash your hands before taking out your contacts, as well as wash them whenever you put them in as well.

When you dry your hands off, make sure you use a towel that won’t leave a lot of residue or lint on your hands, as this could then end up in your eyes and cause irritation. Always read the instructions on your contacts when opening a new package to be sure you are following them correctly.

5. Nourish your eyes with hydration and diet

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What you eat and drink makes a difference with your body, including your eyes. If your eyes feel drier than normal, this is one way that your body is trying to tell you to drink more water.

On average, you should try to drink at least 8 eight-ounce glasses of water every day. This is the minimum that you should be drinking to stay hydrated. If it feels like a lot of water, you can also hydrate through your diet as well.

Try to incorporate some of the following foods into your diet if you want to be healthy and hydrated:

  • Eggplant
  • Cucumber
  • Watermelon
  • Pears
  • Pineapple
  • Zucchini
  • Carrots
  • Mangos
  • Grapefruit
  • Strawberries
  • Raw broccoli
  • Celery
  • Raw spinach
  • Red seedless grapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Kiwis

You’ll notice that many of these foods could easily be added to a smoothie or even a salad, making it simple to add more hydrating fruits and veggies to your diet! When you want to snack, try to stay away from processed carbs. Instead, reach for fresh fruits and vegetables.

Being more hydrated will make you feel better, your skin will glow, and you may even have more energy! There are plenty of benefits that come from staying hydrated!

6. Schedule regular eye exams with your eye doctor

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Above all else, it’s important to remember to schedule regular eye exams with your eye doctor. How often you should see your eye doctor at Eye Physicians of Long Beach depends on your age, the health of your eyes, and if you have any existing eye conditions.

If you can’t remember the last time you saw an eye doctor, it’s been too long! As you get older, the health of your eyes should become a priority. Like getting an annual physical or going to see your dentist, remember to get your eyes checked out every year or two!

Have questions about how to keep your eyes healthy? Need to schedule an eye exam? Schedule yours at Eye Physicians of Long Beach in Long Beach, CA now!