10 Easy Steps for Maintaining Healthy Eyes Every Day


While there’s no quick fix for vision loss, adopting these daily habits can help safeguard your eye health in the long run.

Vision loss poses significant challenges in daily life and is more prevalent than commonly believed. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 93 million adults in the US are at high risk of experiencing vision loss. While restoring lost vision may not always be possible, it’s essential to take proactive measures to preserve and protect your eyesight moving forward.

Incorporating these habits into your daily routine will help maintain the health of your eyes for the years to come.

1. Use sunglasses

Shielding your eyes from ultraviolet rays is essential for preventing long-term damage. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, wearing sunglasses can effectively block harmful UV light, reducing the risk of eye conditions such as cataracts, sunburn, eye cancer, and growths around the eye. Opt for polarized glasses with smoke or gray lenses for optimal protection against the sun’s rays and glare reduction.

2. Schedule screen breaks

Extended periods of screen exposure can lead to various discomforts, including dry eyes, neck and shoulder pain, blurred vision, headaches, and digital eye strain, commonly known as computer vision syndrome. To mitigate these effects, the American Optometric Association advises following the 20-20-20 rule: take a break every 20 minutes to focus on something at least 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

3. Remember to take breaks from reading as well.

Excessive reading, like prolonged screen time, can strain your eyes. Holding a book up close for extended periods may contribute to nearsightedness or myopia, where distant objects appear blurry while close-up objects remain clear. Similar to implementing the 20-20-20 rule for screen breaks, it’s advisable to apply this rule for breaks from reading as well. If you tend to get absorbed in your reading or computer work, consider setting an alarm to remind yourself to take a 20-minute break.

4. Stay active

According to the AAO, engaging in regular exercise offers eye health benefits by promoting healthy blood vessels and reducing the risk of conditions like glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. The CDC suggests aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity each week, along with two days of strength training to keep your muscles strong. Additionally, incorporating eye exercises into your routine can help alleviate tension and reduce eye strain, especially during extended periods of desk work.

5. Spend time outdoors

Both children and adults benefit from spending time outdoors, even if they fulfill their recommended exercise indoors. Studies indicate that children who spend more time outside have a reduced risk of developing nearsightedness during adolescence and adulthood. Whether it’s playing with your kids at the local playground, taking walks in nature, or enjoying activities in the backyard, outdoor time promotes family health and activity. Remember to wear sunglasses for added eye protection while outdoors.

6. Quit smoking

Smoking is widely recognized as detrimental to overall health. Additionally, according to the Food and Drug Administration, it significantly raises the risk of developing eye conditions such as cataracts or age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Smokers are two to three times more likely to develop cataracts and up to four times more likely to develop AMD. Ongoing research may reveal further connections between smoking cigarettes and conditions like glaucoma, Graves’ eye disease, thyroid eye disease, and the progression of diabetic retinopathy. To enhance your well-being, consider creating a plan to quit smoking.

7. Maintain a balanced diet

Your daily food choices play a crucial role in supporting your eye health. Consuming foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, and E, beta-carotene, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, and zinc can promote cellular growth, reduce inflammation in eye tissues, and minimize the impact of free radicals that may harm your eyes.

8. Refrain from Rubbing Eyes Excessively

Frequent eye rubbing can potentially result in eye damage or infections. Conditions like dry eyes and eye strain may prompt individuals to rub their eyes, sometimes excessively or vigorously. This can result in various issues such as diminished or blurry vision, headaches, inflammation, and heightened sensitivity to light. Additionally, eye rubbing may introduce bacteria or viruses from your hands, potentially leading to conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. Instead of rubbing your eyes, consider using eye drops or saline solutions to cleanse and moisturize them. To break the habit, find alternative activities to keep your hands occupied and avoid the urge to rub your eyes.

9. Practice Hand Hygiene

It’s essential to wash your hands thoroughly before touching your face, especially your eyes, and before handling contact lenses. With approximately 45 million Americans using contact lenses, it’s crucial to note that one in three wearers encounter complications, and one in five infections from contact lenses result in corneal damage. Moreover, surfaces you touch may harbor various germs, particularly if someone inadvertently contaminated them. Regular handwashing can significantly reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses by up to 21% and diarrheal illnesses by up to 40%, according to reports from the CDC.

10. Remove Eye Makeup

Before heading to bed, it’s crucial to remove your eye makeup, even if it’s the last thing on your mind after a long day. This simple step can significantly benefit your eye health and reduce the risk of blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids, as highlighted by the Optometrists Network. Additionally, practicing good makeup habits can safeguard your skin and eyes. These include using only products specifically made for the eyes, regularly replacing makeup, especially after an eye infection, avoiding application of eye makeup on the inner lids, refraining from sharing eye makeup with others, and cleaning brushes or sponges used for applying eye makeup on a regular basis.