Rubbing your eye may feel good for that time being but in reality, it’s really harmful to your eyes. Keep reading to learn more about what makes people rub their eyes and why you shouldn’t rub your eye and look for other ways of relief instead.
Why People Rub Their Eyes
There are a few reasons why people rub their eyes. Firstly it can be somewhat therapeutic as the pressure can feel soothing and alleviate stress by stimulating the vagus nerve. Also, rubbing can lubricate your eyes by stimulating the tear ducts and help flush out dirt and particles.
However, these reasons are not good enough to invite the damage rubbing your eye can bring. Here are some reasons why people feel tempted to rub their eyes and ways to avoid it.
You may find yourself rubbing your eyes more frequently when you are tired. But you shouldn’t because frequent eye rubbing can cause breakage of tiny blood vessels in and around your eyes and thus contribute to bloodshot eyes and dark circles. So, don’t rub your eyes even if you are too tired.
Many reasons can make your eye itchy including allergies, inflammation, infections, etc. As tempting as it may be, rubbing often makes things worse. Especially in the case of allergies, rubbing can spread allergens around more and make it worse like spreading the infection to the unaffected eye. In addition, rubbing can cause intense fluid swelling and redness.
Rubbing can be the first natural response to get something out of your eye. However, this is a dangerous process as the object can scratch your eye and damage the cornea. Moreover, you can push the foreign object deeper by rubbing and making it more difficult to remove.
Dry eyes occur when your eye produces a poor quality tear film and one of the most common symptoms of dry eyes is itchy eyes. But rubbing your eyes can exacerbate the discomfort and even cause infection at times, especially if your hands are not clean.
If you already have eye conditions like glaucoma, thin cornea, and progressive myopia, rubbing your eye can worsen the condition. In glaucoma, rubbing can increase eye pressure which can damage the nerve and result in vision loss. In the thin cornea, rubbing your eye can exacerbate the problem into a more serious condition called keratoconus.
Here are few alternatives you can adapt instead of rubbing your eyes :
There are built-in mechanisms in your eyes to flush out irritants and particles. However, if these don’t work, you can opt for eye flushing, eye drops, or artificial tears for removing a foreign object and getting some relief. If a foreign object is stuck in your eye, try flushing the eye with saline, eye wash, or water. If you are unsuccessful, go to your eye doctor immediately.
If you suffer from chronic allergies or itching, you should talk to your doctors. There are remedies like antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, or even steroid, eye drops that can help alleviate the itchiness. If you don’t have eye drops available you can practice putting cold water on a paper towel over the eyes for a few minutes to ease the problem.
Now that you know how harmful rubbing your eye can be, next time when you feel itchiness try the above-mentioned methods to get some relief. If the problem continues, contact your eye doctor for help.
For any eye emergency or a comprehensive eye exam contact us at Advanced Eye Clinic.