It is instinctive.
It is one of the first things you do when you wake up.
You rub your eyes!
Rubbing your eyes appears to be harmless. In fact, it is a natural response to get rid of an irritant that enters your eyes. It may even make you feel good because it stimulates eye lubrication and helps soothe dry eyes. Moreover, it can help relieve stress, as well.
Then why do ophthalmologists around the world advise against rubbing your eyes? Let�s learn why you shouldn�t rub your eyes.
It Can Damage Blood Vessels
Your eyeball is a sensitive organ. Rubbing your eyes, especially frequent and intense rubbing, can damage tiny blood vessels in the eye, leading to blood-shot eyes. Moreover, it can cause trauma, which resonates in the form of subconjunctival hemorrhage.
Can Scratch the Cornea
Apart from damaging the blood vessels, frequent rubbing can also scratch your cornea if you have a foreign object in your eye. Dust particles or any other foreign object may be too tiny; however, it can still be a massive concern for a sensitive organ such as an eye ball. In case a foreign object enters your eye, instead of rubbing, try flushing it out with a saline solution or artificial tears.
May Lead to Infections
Bacteria and germs are present everywhere. No surface is free from contaminants. And your hands play a huge role in transmitting these bacteria and viruses from the surface to your body. Whether it is your skin, eyes, or stomach, microorganisms from your hands can lead to infections.
Imagine sticking a finger loaded with germs into your eyes. Infection is perhaps the only outcome. And with the COVID-19 pandemic, it is an even more significant concern. Research indicates that the novel coronavirus can also be transferred from the hands to the eyes.
Can Flare-up Existing Conditions
If you have a pre-existing eye condition, such as conjunctivitis, constant rubbing can cause it to flare up. Moreover, with conditions such as glaucoma or progressive myopia, your eye is particularly sensitive to touch, and pressure through rubbing may lead to permanent damage to your eye nerve and the resulting loss of vision.
What to Do Instead?
As soon as a foreign object enters the eye, rubbing comes as an automatic response. But instead of rubbing, it is best to flush your eyes with clean, cold water or saline solution. If you are more inclined to rub your eyes because of dryness or excessive screen time, it is best to use artificial lubricants to keep your eyes hydrated. If itchiness is a persistent concern, it is best to seek medical assistance.
If dry eyes and itchiness is a concern, address it well in time so you can prevent any damage to your nerves and vision. Schedule your comprehensive eye examination now