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Rubbing Your Eyes Can Do More Harm Than Good

Woman rubbing her eyes

The urge to rub your eyes is natural when you’re tired, or when they itch! However, think twice next time. Rubbing your eyes may provide temporary relief, but doing so can have harmful side effects.

Three Good Reasons To Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

#1 Rubbing Your Eyes Can Contribute To Dark Circles

Consistently rubbing your eyes can break the tiny blood vessels that surround your eyes. Over time, this can give you that shadowy, tired look around your eyes.

#2 Dirty Hands Cause Eye Infections

We use our hands for everything, so they accumulate dirt and germs. When we touch our eyes without washing our hands first, we risk transferring germs and bacteria. These germs can can cause infections like pink eye, and other problems—including a greater risk for colds and the flu.

#3 Rubbing May Cause Permanent Damage

There are many reasons why your eyes may itch. The most obvious is that you have something in your eye. Using your hand to rub it out can scratch and permanently damage your cornea. If the itchiness is caused by allergies, rubbing can release more histamines (allergens) into the area around your eyes, and make the itchy feeling worse.

Rely On Your Eyes’ Natural Defenses

Our eyes naturally produce tears to flush out irritants. If your eyes are dry, try using eye drops to relieve the itch.  If you have consistently itchy eyes, contact one of our Vision Source doctors! He or she can help you figure out the problem.

Top image by Flickr user Mish Sukharev used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Author Vision Source — Published November 20, 2014