As the delicate windows to our soul, our eyes warrant exceptional care and attention. Yet, in our daily lives, we often succumb to the seemingly innocuous act of rubbing our eyes. Whether it’s in response to fatigue, irritation, or the presence of a foreign particle, this seemingly instinctive action can have profound consequences on our eye health.
What Happens If You Rub Your Eyes Regularly?
1. High Risk of Getting an Infection
Your hands are a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Throughout the day, you touch countless surfaces, from door handles to smartphones, which are notorious for harbouring harmful microorganisms. Rubbing your eyes with dirty hands is an easy way to transfer these germs directly to your eyes, increasing the risk of an eye infection.
To prevent infection, make a conscious effort to keep your hands away from your face and wash them regularly with soap and water. If you feel the need to touch your eyes, use a clean tissue instead.
2. It Could Be Damaging to Your Cornea
Rubbing your eyes can cause tiny blood vessels in the cornea to break, leading to red and bloodshot eyes. In more serious cases, excessive eye rubbing can even weaken the cornea, causing it to thin and bulge outwards, a condition known as keratoconus. This can result in distorted vision and may eventually require corneal transplant surgery.
To protect your cornea, try to identify the root cause of the itchiness or discomfort. It could be due to allergies, dry eyes, or an infection, which can all be treated with over-the-counter or prescription eye drops.
3. It Contributes to Dark Circles Around Your Eyes
Rubbing your eyes can exacerbate the appearance of dark circles by causing the blood vessels beneath the thin, delicate skin around your eyes to break. This can lead to a darkening of the area, making you look tired and older. Plus, rubbing your eyes can cause inflammation and swelling, further contributing to the appearance of dark circles.
To minimize dark circles, avoid rubbing your eyes and use a cold compress to soothe any itchiness or irritation. Topical treatments containing caffeine or retinol can also help improve the appearance of dark circles.
4. It Can Develop Wrinkles Faster
The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate, making it more prone to wrinkles and fine lines. Rubbing your eyes tugs and pulls at this fragile skin, causing it to stretch and lose elasticity over time. This repetitive motion can lead to the formation of wrinkles, also known as crow’s feet, which can make you look older than your years.
To prevent premature aging, be gentle with your eye area and avoid rubbing. Instead, treat the underlying cause of the itchiness or discomfort, and consider using an eye cream formulated to minimize the appearance of wrinkles.
5. It Worsens Glaucoma
If you have glaucoma or are at risk of developing it, rubbing your eyes can be particularly dangerous. Glaucoma is characterized by increased pressure within the eye, which can cause optic nerve damage and vision loss. Rubbing your eyes can temporarily spike this intraocular pressure, potentially worsening the condition and increasing the risk of vision loss.
The Bottom Line
While rubbing your eyes might provide temporary relief, it’s essential to understand the potential risks and long-term effects associated with this seemingly harmless habit. By avoiding eye rubbing and opting for healthier alternatives, such as using eye drops, cold compresses, or seeking medical advice for persistent irritation or discomfort, you can protect your eyes and maintain their health for years to come.
If you’re looking for the best laser eye clinic in Abbotsford, you’ve come to the right place! Valley Laser Eye Centre is proud to offer the latest advancements in laser eye surgery technology and ophthalmology care. Book a consultation today!
This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.