Health Habits With Possible Negative Effects | San Antonio LASIK
Seemingly Harmless Habits That Can Hurt You in the Long Run
Over our lives we develop many habits, and if they don’t have immediate or apparent negative effects, we may classify them as benign or harmless. In fact, habits are typically executed with little or no thought, and can account for as much as 43% of our daily actions.
However, just because a habit seems harmless doesn’t mean it actually is. Some habits carry negative effects that may grow over time, or whose effects aren’t immediately noticeable.
Rubbing Your Eyes
People sometimes feel compelled to rub their eyes, to relieve itchiness or dry eyes. This can feel good at the moment, but carries some risks. One of the most immediate is the risk of scratching your cornea. However, the increased pressure from rubbing your eyes can also cause damage over time (such as Keratoconus), and alter the cornea’s shape which can lead to vision issues.
Rubbing your eyes also opens up further opportunities for bacterial transmission, potentially leading to an eye infection or other disease. It can also impede the recovery process after elective eye surgery, such as LASIK Eye Surgery.
Not Incorporating a Rest Day Into Your Workout Routine
Exercise is an example of a healthy habit that can be harmful if not done responsibly. Exercise has numerous benefits, including weight management and bone and muscle strength, and it is an important part of overall preventative care.
However, too much exercise can actually be harmful. Incorporating a rest day into a regular workout routine gives your body time to recover from strenuous activity. It’s during this time that the body builds muscles and relieves stress. It can also help prevent repetitive strain injuries.
Getting Little/Too Much Sleep
Sleep is another important part of a daily routine that can be too-easily neglected. Studies show that sleeping in, as well as getting too little sleep can both have negative effects on health. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends adults get at least seven hours of sleep per night.
A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that those who slept fewer than five hours, or more than nine saw increased rates of cognitive impairment. This means, the sweet spot for nightly sleep is somewhere between seven and nine hours.
Disregarding Nutrition Labels
Food packaging displays nutrition information that is important to understanding the contents within. These labels detail ingredients, as well as values like calories, and the percentage of recommended daily intake of different vitamins and minerals.
While it may be okay in the short-term to eat food while ignoring its nutritional value, long-term health depends on nutrition and the foods we eat. Disregarding nutrition labels can result in malnutrition, or eating too much of certain ingredients. Reading food labels helps ensure that you are eating food that is beneficial to many aspects of your health and health of your eyes.
Not Stretching Before or After a Workout
Exercise requires a healthy range of motion, achieved by stretching before and after a workout. Stretching can also be a healthy habit that doesn’t necessarily need to precede or follow a workout. However, before strenuous physical activity, it can be vital to stretch related muscle groups and joints in order to avoid injury. Useful stretches include:
- Jumping jacks: A type of dynamic stretch, jumping jacks stretch your arms, legs, and also serve to increase your heart rate. A jumping jack involves two movements, both performed during jumps. Start with your arms to your sides and your feet close together. Next, jump while stretching your arms up and spreading your legs so that your feet are shoulder width apart. Finally, jump again, and bring your feet and arms back to their original positions.
- High knees: This stretch is similar to jogging in place. Begin with your feet shoulder width apart, then lift one knee until it is bent at a right angle. Switch to your opposite knee, and repeat at a quick pace.
- Arm circles: Stretch your arms straight out, and begin to move them in circles. Begin small, and slowly increase the size of the circles. Then reverse the direction of your circles.
- Toe touch: During this exercise, you will stretch your core as you bend from the hip and reach down to touch your toes. Stretch with smooth, steady movements, careful not to put too much stress on your tendons by bobbing.
When stretching, be sure to avoid sudden, jerky movements. Overextending yourself can cause harm as well, so the best strategy is to stretch with smooth, measured movements.
Sleeping In Contacts
Long hours wearing contacts can lead to corneal hypoxia, or a lack of oxygen to the cornea. If your eyes don’t get enough oxygen, it can cause the cornea to swell, reducing its transparency, and potentially damaging vision.
Sleeping in contacts can also increase the risk of eye infection by up to eight times. The presence of a foreign object in your eye gives bacteria the chance to gather away from more hygienic storage in a container with a cleaning solution. According to the CDC, ‘ contact lenses are like underwear’. For these reasons, contact wearers may consider vision correction surgery to prevent risking damaging their vision.
Not Wearing Protective Eyewear When Outdoors
Exposure to sunlight can be damaging to skin as well as the eyes. Without proper eye protection, such as sunglasses, you can increase the risk of cancerous and non-cancerous growths, as well as cataracts.
People who have recently received corrective eye surgery should be particularly careful, ensuring to follow the doctor’s recommendations while healing. Those who live in areas with lots of sunlight should be particularly diligent as well.
Sharing Makeup and Hygiene Products
Makeup can carry bacteria that cause infections. Over time, the amount of bacteria it contains can increase as well. Because of this, sharing makeup may increase these risks, since you can’t be sure how it was stored or used in the past.
After undergoing LASIK surgery, individuals can typically apply makeup the following day, including foundation, concealer, blush, and contour. However, caution should be exercised when applying makeup near the eyes. It is advisable to wait for a week after LASIK eye surgery before using mascara, eyeliner, or eyeshadow. It’s recommended to avoid wearing eye makeup immediately following a LASIK procedure. In many cases, it is always doubly important to avoid sharing makeup.
Be sure to talk to one of our doctors about not only the benefits of LASIK, but also any risks of LASIK that may pertain to your individual needs and circumstances.