Most people rub their eyes multiple times a day without even realizing it. For example, when you’re tired or just waking up, rubbing your eyes is instinctive. Unfortunately, this seemingly harmless habit can actually put your eyes at risk. Today, local eyeglasses provider Vienna Eyecare Center discusses the dangers of rubbing your eyes.
The Effects of Rubbing Your Eyes Too Much
Rubbing your eyes may not seem like a big deal, but it can lead to a host of complications. Here are some of them:
- Bloodshot Eyes — Rubbing the eyes too much can cause tiny blood vessels to break, giving your eyes a bloodshot appearance. This is not a good look if you have a speaking engagement or presentation at work.
- Conjunctivitis — The hand carries more germs than any other part of the human body. Rubbing the eyes transfers these germs to the eyes, which can result in conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. It can last for three to four days, and can be treated using antibiotic eye drops.
- Scratched Cornea — If you feel like something is stuck in your eye, your first instinct is probably to rub your eyes, but this is a bad idea. This action can scratch the cornea, particularly if you wear contact lenses. Studies have also shown that continuous rubbing can thin out the cornea.
- Risk of Worsening Existing Eye Conditions — People with progressive myopia (short-sightedness) and glaucoma should not rub their eyes, as this could make such conditions worse.
How to Stop Rubbing Your Eyes
The first thing to do is restrain yourself from rubbing your eyes whenever they feel itchy or if you feel something is stuck in them. The best way to relieve your eyes is to flush them using a sterile saline solution. If your eyes feel dry, consider using hydrating eye drops.
Certain types of eye drops are formulated with antihistamines to minimize eye itching in people who suffer from allergies. Flushing your eyes under running water isn’t generally recommended. If your eyes are not relieved by eye drops, see an eye care professional.
If you are experiencing eye discomfort, schedule a comprehensive eye exam at Vienna Eyecare Center. Give us a call at (703) 938-7633 or fill out our contact form. We serve customers in Fairfax, Reston and Tysons Corner, VA.