Why You Should Not Rub Your Eyes?

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Rubbing our eyes is a natural thing that most of us do at times. We generally do it when we feel tired, if something has gone into the eye, or when we experience an itchy sensation around the eye. A person may feel better once the eyes are rubbed, but if this habit isn’t checked, it can potentially cause some harm to the eyes. Let’s take a look at why rubbing eyes often is not good.

Leads To Dark Circles

Although dark circles around your eyes occur for a variety of reasons like medications, anemia, allergies, fatigue, and age, rubbing or scratching them may also be one of the reasons. Compared to the rest of your face, the skin around your eyes is thinnest and most delicate. So, when you rub around your eyes, you potentially damage the tiny blood vessels. And when the blood vessels break, the blood flows into the surrounding tissues and gives your skin a darker color.

Increases Risk Of Infection

We use our hands for various purposes like typing on a keyboard, preparing food, combing hair, etc. Therefore, our hands are not completely clean all the time, and they may have hundreds and thousands of distinct bacteria even if you work in a clean environment. When you touch your eyes, bacteria such as staphylococcus, salmonella, and E. coli increases your risk of severe eye infections. If you touch or rub your eyes frequently, remember to wash your hands with soap and water for 30 seconds at least and wipe your hands with a clean and dry towel.

Develops Scratched Cornea

Dust, debris and other foreign particles can affect your eyes while rubbing. If these substances are large enough, they may sting your eyes, and you may experience more itching. Rubbing your eyes is one of the easiest ways to remove this debris but instead of relieving the pain, it may push the particles deeper into your eyes and may scratch the cornea. Such scratches may lead to redness, irritation, and sensitivity. Serious injuries may also result in fungal infections and scars. These abrasions may even lead to long-term vision problems. Therefore, to get rid of such irritant particles, wash your eyes with clean water or a sterile saline solution. If they do not come out of the eye, then visit an eye doctor immediately.

Leads to Thinned Cornea

The cornea is the eye’s outermost lens and controls the light that enters the eye. The round shape of cornea bends and refracts the incoming light. It relies on tiny collagen fibers to maintain its curved shape. Rubbing your eyes weakens these fibers and the cornea bulges in the outward direction until it forms a cone shape. This results in a condition known as keratoconus wherein there is a continuous thinning of the cornea.

Releases Histamines

Rubbing your eyes gives you temporary relief as it stimulates your tear production. The tears lubricate your eyes, and your eyes won’t feel irritated. But the extra pressure stimulates the release of additional histamines that may irritate your eyes than ever before.

Rubbing your eye is quite natural, but you should be careful that you reduce it or avoid putting too much pressure while rubbing. In worst case scenarios, rubbing your eyes can significantly affect your vision. If you experience consistent itching or burning sensation around your eyes, then you should visit an optical clinic to identify the reason for the eye problem. The optometrist may conduct an eye exam to identify the problem and accordingly begin with the right treatment.