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June 6th marks National Eyewear Day, visit these Top retailers for your eyewear needs.


We know we shouldn't look directly at the sun, because it can cause serious eye damage even after a few seconds, according to Healthline. But there are plenty of other everyday habits that can hurt our eyes over time.

Business Insider spoke with Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association, to get some insight into how we may be damaging our eyes without even realizing it.

Even if you think your vision seems fine, these five things could be hurting your eyesight:

Staring at screens for too long

1. Staring at screens for too long                    Samuel Borges Photography /Shutterstock

In a single day, think of all the screens you may encounter — your smartphone, GPS, computer, TV, tablet, and more.

Fortunately, all those hours of screen time probably aren't causing physical damage to your eyes, according to Christopher Quinn, president of the American Optometric Association. However, looking at screens for too long can cause stress in the visual system.

"That stress can result in eye strain, headaches, difficulty with focusing — a number of things that can impact quality of life overall," Quinn told Business Insider.

It's probably impossible to avoid screens all together. Instead, Quinn suggests practicing the 20-20-20 rule, which calls for you to look away from the screen every 20 minutes for at least 20 seconds and look instead at an object that's at least 20 feet away. It gives you an opportunity to refresh your eyes, he said.

Not wearing sunglasses

2. Not wearing sunglasses        WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

Whether the sky is sunny or overcast, the sun's harmful rays can still impact our eyes. You don't have to stare directly at the sun to experience damage. In fact, sun exposure over time can lead to cataracts and macular degeneration, which is a leading cause of vision loss in older adults, Quinn said.

Sunglasses can help protect against that damage, but it's important to wear ones that protect against ultraviolet (UV) light, according to the National Eye Institute.

"UV light-absorbing sunglasses mitigate that risk substantially," Quinn said. "Normally, high-quality sunglasses will filter 95% or more of the harmful rays of the sun."

Smoking cigarettes

3. Smoking cigarettes

Aside from increasing the risk of heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer, smoking cigarettes can also affect eye health, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Just like sun exposure, smoking can increase the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Not eating your veggies

4. Not eating your veggies
Matej Kastelic/

A diet rich in vegetables can help maintain the health of certain parts of the eye.

"Essential antioxidants and vitamins can have a protective effect on the health of the retina — the light sensitive tissue which lines the back wall of the eye," Quinn said.

In particular, he said leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach may help provide that effect.

However, the common belief that eating carrots helps improve your night-time vision is actually a myth dating back to British propaganda from World War II. Although the orange veggie is good for eye health, it doesn't give you any sort of super power.

Avoiding the eye doctor

5. Avoiding the eye doctor
Image Point Fr/Shutterstock

Even if don't have problems with your vision, getting an annual eye exam is still important for a number of reasons.

First, progressive damage to your eyes can happen without you noticing or feeling it. For example, about half of people with glaucoma — a group of diseases that impact the optic nerve — aren't aware they have it, according to the CDC. That's because there are often no symptoms, especially in early stages.

Additionally, during an exam, an eye doctor may find signs of other health problems.

"They can identify not just things that impact the eye, but also a host of systemic diseases, like diabetes and hypertension, which can have manifestations in the eye before the disease becomes really clinically apparent to the patient," Quinn said.


Below we have listed all of the Top Retailers and Clinics in the Top Choice Awards Survey, who will be more than glad to aid your eyesight:


Whitby Optical in Durham Region 

IRIS in Durham Region

312 Optical Studio in Toronto 

Specs On Bloor in Toronto

Kanda Optical in Vaughan

Dr. Allyson Tang Optometrist in Vaughan

Optical Pulse in Brampton

Advanced Vision in Hamilton

Eyewear By Olga in Mississauga

Eyes On Stonehaven in Aurora/Newmarket

Cedar Pointe Optometry in Barrie


Spectus Eyewear in Vancouver

Mount Pleasant Optometry Centre in Vancouver

Crescent Heights Optometry in Calgary

Optiko Eyewear in Calgary

Beyond Vision Optometry & Hearing Millwoods in Edmonton


EZ Optical in Houston

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