5 Every day habits that are hurting your health

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Did you know that some of the things we do regularly unknowingly, could have negative effects on our health?  

Here are a few of them.  

Rubbing your eyes

Adapted from Peepers Optical

I’m guilty! The skin around the eyes is very thin and not like the rest of the skin on the face. Aside from the unfavorable cosmetic effects like wrinkling, rubbing your eyes could also result in eye infections. Imagine how much germs your hands come in contact with; now imagine transferring all that grime to your eyes in the process of rubbing them? Vigorous rubbing could cause small blood vessels in and around the eyes to break as well as cause thinning of the cornea which could result in visual dysfunction.

Not brushing teeth twice a day

Adapted from Face2face Africa

“Brush your teeth twice a day!”, “Brush your teeth when you wake up in the morning and before you go to bed at night!”. Most of us probably heard this a lot growing up but do we actually practise it enough? The teeth are arguable one of the most important parts of the body. I love food, so I love my teeth, LOL; so they need to be looked after properly. Imagine putting pieces of food in your mouth and leaving them there for hours or overnight, they’ll rot in no time. Rotten foods smell awful and if left for prolonged periods of time or often, they’ll result in gum disease and of course bad breath. Personally, I like to clean my teeth after each meal. Might not always have the opportunity or time to actually head to a bathroom and brush my teeth with toothpaste but a good quality low sugar chewing gum should do the trick. And of course, don’t forget your tongue.

Washing genital area with harsh soaps

Adapted from HealthiNation

The vulva (exterior and visible part of the female genital area) has same skin as other parts of the body and so can be cleaned accordingly BUT WITH CAUTION as soaps might find their way into the vagina (interior part of the female genital area). This messes with the pH balance and can result in infections, the most common of which is vaginal candidiasis (thrush; yeast infection). The vagina has a low pH (it’s an acidic environment) and is able to clean itself. Water only could suffice, but never harsh soaps and products with harsh smells. Oh and also, no douching please.

Holding in pee

Adapted from Blackdoctor

LOL! I think I can confidently say we’ve all done this at some point in our lives. Normally, urine is produced in the kidneys and then flows down through the ureters (a tube that connects the kidneys to the bladder) to the bladder. When the bladder gets filled to capacity, you get the urge to urinate because the bladder wall has tiny receptors that send signals to the brain. Now imagine filling this bladder up continuously without emptying it. The urine produced will start to accumulate in the ureters and kidneys as they have nowhere else to go. Urine is a waste product of the body and stationary urine allows germs to breed and multiply. This could result in urinary tract infections… We don’t want that. So the morale of the story is- pee when you need to pee.

Not getting enough sleep

Adapted from Healthline

Never underestimate the value of a good night’s rest. The brain needs it, the cells in your body need it. Bad quality and quantity of sleep has loads of negative effects including difficulty concentrating, difficulty recalling previously learned information, difficulty learning, weight gain, increased probability of falling ill, mood distortions, headaches, and migraines. It can even increase your risk for heart diseases, diabetes, and digestive problems. The undesireable effects are endless and this goes to show how vital good sleep is.

Featured image: Huffpost

Dr Wendy Evans-Uhegbu

The author Dr Wendy Evans-Uhegbu

Dr. Wendy Evans-Uhegbu is a graduate of The Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, with experience in Connected Health, Medical Technology, Clinical Research, Medical Education, Medical Communications, and Web Design/Development. She is a part of the Medics Abroad team with the role of Chief Communications Officer. She is also a Medical Writer at 3D4 Medical and runs a Medical Communications and Children's books company (ODR Integrated Services/ ODR Books).  She is the author of the newly published children's book series "The Things Around Me".

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