Rubbing Your Eyes Can Harm Your EyesDo you ever wake up in the morning and find yourself rubbing your eyes ? How about after a long day working starring at your computer? Rubbing Your Eyes Can Harm Your Eyes.

When we wake up or even when we are tried, many of us rub our eyes. It may seem like a normal thing to do, but it can actually cause serious problems for your vision.

Why Do We Rub Our Eyes?

Many of us rub our eyes if they are irritated from dryness, fatigue, or allergies. We rub our eyes because they may itch or it feels like a small message. When we rub them, it triggers tears which make our eyes feel a little better. Surprisingly, it can help relieve stress too. Pressing down on the eyeball can stimulate the vagus nerve, which slows down your heart rate and relieves stress by triggering your oculocardiac reflex. Even though there are some benefits to rubbing the eyes, it may cause more harm than good.

You have Bacteria on your hands and fingers. 

We use our hands for everything and we touch a lot of stuff throughout the day. We touch our keyboards, food, and bathroom fixtures with our hands which means we a host of bacteria that can catch a ride on your fingers. Anytime we touch our eyes without first washing our hands, we risk transferring that bacteria and exposing our eyes to infection. Also, if you are rubbing your eyes because of allergies, it could be making your allergies even worse. Allergens can get trapped in your eyelashes and can transfer to your eye’s surface.

Did you know that Rubbing Your Eyes Can Cause Dark Circles?

We all hate dark circles below our eyes. They may come from lake of sleep, but they also come from rubbing your eyes.  Rubbing your eyes can cause tiny blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface to break, resulting in dark circles, puffiness, and can even contribute to premature crow’s feet and drooping eyelids.

Although eye rubbing can be a contributor, those dark circles—also known as periorbital circles—can also be caused by illness, allergies, prolonged tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and even excess salt intake. Resisting the urge to rub your eyes and avoiding substances like tobacco and alcohol can keep the skin around your eyes looking fresh and vibrant.

Excess Pressure from Rubbing

Rubbing your eyes can increase the pressure in your eye sometimes as much as 20 times. Most of the time, the pressure will return to normal, but if you have certain eye conditions, your risk of harming your vision increases.  Those with progressive myopia—a common type of short-sightedness—can find that excessive rubbing worsens their vision. In some cases, their retina may detach from the back of the eye due to the extreme pressure.

We Can Help You Achieve Clear, Healthy Vision

We understand how tempting it can be to rub your eyes when they’re a bit dry, tired, or ichy. If your eye’s natural defenses aren’t quite enough, try using eye drops to relieve the discomfort. You’re health is important to us and we love helping our patients achieve clear, comfortable vision.

If you have any questions about how to calm your eye irritation, make an appointment with WestSide Eye Clinic at 504.347.8434.

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.