The Dangers Associated With Rubbing Your Eyes

We know that rubbing your eyes can be a relaxing and therapeutic feeling experience, and most of us think this habit is relatively harmless. From being weary after staring at the screen for a long time to suffering from the common cold or hay fever it seems to have a soothing effect. This rubbing stimulates the production of tears to help eliminate irritants and keeping dry eyes hydrated. While there are definitely benefits to this habit, there are also risks if you rub too often or too hard.

Risks Associated With Rubbing Your Eyes

  • Bloodshot Eyes – Rubbing your eyes too hard can cause blood vessels to break giving your eyes a bloodshot appearance, it can also contribute to the bags under your eyes we all work so hard to avoid.
  • Germ Transference – Your hands are by far the dirtiest part of your body, and everything they touch is being transferred to your eyes when you rub them. This is one of the leading causes of conjunctivitis.
  • Foreign Bodies – It may be tempting to rub your eyes to dislodge foreign bodies that are stuck there, but if you aren’t careful you can scratch your cornea or even embed the item into your eye.
  • Existing Issues – If you have any medical problems with your eyes already existing this can lead to further consequences. Progressive myopia patients often experience their eyesight worsening thanks to rubbing, and glaucoma patients can have the pressure in their eye spike as a result.
  • Cornea Thinning – Research has shown that some individuals may experience a thinning of the cornea due to rubbing their eyes. As the cornea is rubbed and thins it becomes more conical, interfering with vision. In the most severe cases this requires correction by a corneal graft.

How Can I Stop Rubbing My Eyes?

The key to breaking this habit is to respond to conditions that cause you to rub your eyes through other means. If you have something stuck in your eye, trying using a wash to get it out using non-medicated artificial tears. If your eyes itch due to allergies or illness there are eye drops available over the counter to treat this, or you can get steroidal drops from your physician for more severe cases. If you find yourself rubbing your eyes often or too hard and need help stopping, it’s time to call your physician or optometrist.

You can start by making a call to Paul Trapeni at The Optical Shoppe in Smyrna, TN, where he proudly serves his community with exceptional optical care year after year. Education is a cornerstone of the Optical Shoppe philosophy, and this means helping patients understand the health risks associated with what are typically thought to be everyday activities. Don’t let a habit of rubbing your eyes interfere with a lifetime of great optical health, pick up the phone and contact the office for assistance today! Your eyesight will thank you!

Dr. Paul D. Trapeni JrAt The Optical Shoppe, we're dedicated to optometry excellence under the guidance of Dr. Paul D Trapeni. Serving the Smyrna community since 1989, Dr. Trapeni is a trusted member of the community, bringing general and specialized optometry care to individuals and families throughout the area.