While almost 92% of adults think a beautiful smile is important, it’s been said that the eyes are the windows to the soul — and if your eye health is compromised, it’s difficult to see the world clearly. While you might take your vision for granted, medical experts caution that you should do everything you can to maintain the health of your eyes. You might not realize it, but your daily habits could be derailing that goal. Here are just a few things you’ll want to avoid if you want to preserve your peepers.

Not Wearing Sunglasses

Forgoing sunglasses should not be an option. Although Americans used public transportation 9.9 billion times in 2018, you should be wearing sunglasses when driving or riding in a vehicle, as well as any time you’re outside. Even if it’s cloudy or cold, you need to protect your eyesight. Without sunglasses, you could experience anything from headaches to cataracts. You’ll want to make it a habit to carry your sunnies with you at all times and have some back-ups in case they break.

But it’s not enough to simply buy a pair of cute frames and call it a day. Although we rely on plastic manufacturing processes like reaction injection molding to create any number of products we use daily, it’s important to evaluate whether your plastic sunglasses are really providing the protection you think. Many cheaper sunglasses may not block UV rays (or the percentage of UV rays required), even if they have a sticker that indicates they will. This is especially true of older pairs, as all sunglasses should come with full UV protection. While you might not relish spending an arm and a leg on a pair of sunglasses, expensive pairs typically offer better clarity and will ensure you’re getting the protection you’re paying for. Most sunglass lenses will naturally block UV rays, but plastic lenses need to have UV protection added to them. If you aren’t sure whether your favorite pair will actually protect your eyesight, you can ask your optician to check them with a spectrometer.

Wearing Old or Waterproof Makeup

The beauty industry continues to grow — and your personal cosmetics collection may be growing right along with it. However, you’ll want to make an effort to clear out expired makeup or discontinue your use of waterproof eye products if you’re interested in keeping your eyes healthy. Old makeup can be riddled with bacteria that can cause eye infections, while waterproof mascara is more difficult to dissolve if it becomes trapped in and around the eye. If this type of makeup gets stuck behind a contact lens, for example, it could actually scratch your cornea and lead to an infection. And if you think you can bypass mascara and get lash extensions instead, think again. Allergic reactions to this eyelash glue are regularly reported, which can lead to irritation, swelling, and corneal infections, as well as a condition that can cause your natural lashes to fall out permanently. In general, you should use makeup and personal care products very carefully and sparingly around the eyes and keep these items away from your lash line to prevent blocking your eyelids’ oil glands. Makeup that’s older than three months or that’s older than the date stamped on the packaging should be thrown away and replaced. You should also refrain from sharing your makeup with others, as this can easily spread bacteria and cause infections.

Staying Indoors

Given that the sun’s rays are strongest between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm, you might think that the best course of action is to stay inside during the bulk of the day in order to safeguard your eye health. But in some cases, remaining indoors can actually damage your eyes more than spending time outside. Looking at a screen for hours-on-end, especially in dim lighting, can be extremely harmful to your eye health. More than 60% of the global population will be shortsighted by 2050, largely due to spending longer periods focusing on indoor tasks, but spending time outside can have a positive effect on the eyes because natural daylight can stimulate retinal chemical signals and prevent certain eye conditions from developing. While you should certainly take care to protect your eyes adequately when you’re outside, outdoor activity (particularly when a person is young) will be much more beneficial than scrolling on a smartphone or watching a television program inside.

Misusing Your Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can allow you to see clearly without any obstructions, but failing to take care of your lenses can put your eye health at risk. Showering or swimming with your contacts in is a bad idea, as water can contain microbes that can lead to infection and even permanent damage. Sleeping with your contacts in isn’t recommended either, as this can increase the likelihood of an infection or irreversible damage. If you wear contact lenses, never purchase them over-the-counter or through an online service that doesn’t require an eye exam first. While generic, low-grade lenses may not damage your eyesight permanently, it can lead to eye strain, headaches, dry eyes, and general discomfort. It’s best to obtain your lenses directly through your doctor or through a trusted service that ensures you’ll be getting the correct prescription.

Not Getting Your Eyes Checked

One of the most important ways to care for your eyes? Schedule your annual eye examination. Statistics show that only one in 10 people has their eyes checked regularly, which means problems may progress before you realize something’s wrong. Even if you have no symptoms of an eye health condition, your doctor may be able to detect one before it’s too late to treat it. It’s especially important to make an appointment if you have a history of eye issues or have noticed changes in your vision. Whether you have insurance coverage or not, consider the fact that an annual exam can make all the difference in your quality of life — while you may not be able to say the same for a new outfit or a lavish dinner.

It’s easy to see that prioritizing your eye health is a must. If you’re guilty of any of these bad habits, you might want to change your ways in order to visualize a brighter future.