Why It’s Bad to Rub Your Eyes by Dr. Brian Will

Most of us do it regularly—but is it bad? Sometimes, yes. Although rubbing your eyes may seem harmless when dealing with allergies, the common cold, or relieving stress. But when done too hard or too often, you can cause damage in multiple ways.

What Damage?

First, rubbing your eyes can break tiny blood vessels, resulting in unsightly circles and bloodshot eyes. These issues can make you look tired and worn out. Also, your hands carry more germs than any part of your body. When they come into contact with your eyes, they can transfer bacteria, viruses, or cause infections like conjunctivitis.

If something foreign is lodged in your eye, rubbing it may cause that object to scratch the surface of the cornea. Then some people have pre-existing eye conditions like myopia and glaucoma. Excess rubbing may cause worsening eyesight, cause nerve damage, or even permanent loss of vision.

But the most worrying potential consequence of rubbing your eyes excessively is that it can lead to the thinning of the corneas over time. This condition is known as keratoconus.

Why Does It Feel Good to Rub Your Eyes?

We all know how wonderful it can feel to rub the eyes. Especially when we’re tired or been looking at an electronic screen all day. So, how can something that feels good be wrong?

In your eyelids, there are glands that produce an oil that secretes the eyes. These Meibomian glands produce this comforting fluid in the tear film. This adds protection and moisture by preventing the tears from evaporating. By rubbing your lids, you release more tears, which makes your eyes feel good.

Suppose you find yourself regularly rubbing your eyes because they are dry. In that case, you need to schedule a consultation with an eye doctor. They can prescribe many treatments for dry eyes that can help you avoid damaging the corneas.

How to Stop

If you find something stuck in your eye, flush it with a sterile saline solution or artificial tears. If that gives you no relief, go to your ophthalmologist. The best practice to keep you from touching your eyes continuously is to keep your eyes hydrated to prevent itching. Flooding your eyes with eye drops is a highly effective way to imitate natural tears. You can find eye solutions over the counter that are optimal remedies for anyone experiencing dry eyes. Other solutions are steroid eye drops used to prevent chronic eye rubbing, especially among people with allergies.

Schedule a Visit

When you visit Dr. Brian Will and his team in Portland, OR, you will receive world-class eye care from one of the most respected names in vision correction surgery. To schedule an initial appointment with our specialist, contact us online or call our office at (877) 542-3937 today!