Can rubbing your eyes hurt them?

Rubbing your eyes is a natural response. Just think of even the tiniest of babies. What do they do when they are tired? Rub their eyes. What do you do when your eyes itch? Rub them. It is so natural, but it may only provide temporary relief for a bigger issue or it may create a bigger issue.

What issues can rubbing your eyes cause?

While it may happen naturally, rubbing your eyes can break blood vessels in your eyes. Although this is not something that occurs rubbing your eyes once, chronically rubbing your eyes can create this issue over time. It can also give you a more tired and upset look to your eyes.

How often do you wash your hands? Probably every time you eat, go to the rest room, or touch something that you’re not quite sure where it has been. That is not enough. We use our hands for everything. So often times we are distracted and not paying attention and do not wash our hands prior to rubbing our eyes. No matter how hard we try, our hands just have germs on them. This can create pink eye or other infections in the eye. Additionally, the eyes, ears, and nose are all connected. Germs may travel form your eyes and create flu or cold symptoms.

The most likely reason you’re rubbing your eyes is because they itch. This means they are dry. Chronic dry eye is a real issue and it can create vision issues. True dry eyes need to be treated by an optometrist as there could be several causes and some may need immediate care to ensure that they do not turn into vision loss. Another reason you’re rubbing your eyes is because something is in your eye. Again, this can scratch the eye and create larger issues.

How can I protect my eyes?

If you believe you have chronic dry eyes, it is important to schedule an appointment with one of our optometrists to ensure your eyes are treated properly.

If you do feel you need to rub your eyes, remember our eyes naturally produce tears to flush out irritants. Trust your eyes.

If you have to rub your eyes, follow these steps:

  1. Do not use a tissue or other object to rub your eyes
  2. Wash your hands before touching your face or eyes
  3. Rub next to your eye, and let your eye lid do the work so you’re not rubbing your actual eye

If you have more questions, contact us today!