The instinct to rub your eyes is a subconscious effort which shows the sign of tiredness and sore eyes. Some people rub their eyes to alleviate dryness, itching or discomfort. Most of you may not be knowing it, but that gentle massage on the eyes lubricates the irritated surface by slowing down the heart rate. This process is called Oculocardiac Reflex which is stimulated by the Vagus nerve. However, despite the innocuous nature of this act, rubbing your eyes can do more harm than good, so let’s find out what are some eyesight problems when you rub your eyes.
How Rubbing your Eyes can lead to Eyesight Problems:
- Protect your eyes from bacteria: Bacteria easily hops on board anytime whenever you touch an object. We use our hands throughout the day starting with working on a computer to cleaning up the house. So, when we touch our eyes without washing our hands, we are hampering our ocular health and exposing our eyes to infection. Eyelashes are known harborers of various allergens, so whenever we are rubbing our eyes, it leads to more discomfort and irritation.
- Rubbing the eyes causes dark circles: One of the first signs of aging is the skin around our eyes. Rubbing your eyes with gusto can lead to dark circles around the eyes. The skin around the eyes is one of the thinnest skin on the body. So, constant massaging around this part can lead to puffiness and contributes to drooping eyelids and premature crow’s feet. Rubbing eye is one of the factors, but those dark circles (also known as periorbital circles) can be caused due to alcohol consumption, prolonged tobacco use, allergies, illness and excessive salt intake.
- Rubbing the eyes causes excess pressure on the cornea: Constant pressure and manipulation of the eye can lead to a condition called Keratoconus. In this, the cornea gets weakened which might result in significant loss of vision. Activities such as removing makeup or wiping away tears also add pressure to your eyes. People with myopic eye conditions need to make conscious effort to avoid rubbing their eyes or otherwise, constant rubbing will aggravate their ocular health which will further debilitate their eye vision. This includes everything from a corneal tear to a detached retina.
- Increased risk of Infection: Starting from managing household work to socializing, you use your hands for just about everything. Even if you work in a relatively clean environment, your hands are exposed to these distinct bacterias. Germs such as staphylococcus, streptococcus, salmonella and E. coli gets transferred whenever you touch your hands to your eyes. Whenever you rub your eye, these germs get easily transferred and often leads to infections like Conjunctivitis.
- Allergies and Irritation: One of the main cause of irritation can be allergies. This happens when allergens adhere to the eyelashes. Whenever you rub your eyes, you experience momentary relief as you stimulate your tear production. This production lubricates and gives relief to your eyes, but the pressure applied also stimulates the release of Histamines. The stimulation will make your eyes feel itchier and irritated than ever before. Using a sterile saline solution will flush out allergens and will also lubricate your eyes preventing it from permanent damage to your eyesight.
We take care of your Ocular health
You can significantly reduce your risk for the above problems by making a conscious effort of studying your eye’s anatomy. We love helping our patients attain clear and comfortable vision by giving some tips on natural remedies such as using eye drops and applying a cold compress to your eyes. When these remedies are not enough, you can always contact us. We will take care of your ocular health by identifying the actual problem for your eye irritation.