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Unfortunately, something as simple as rubbing your eyes can be harmful. Just about all of us rub our eyes when we wake up in the morning; we might also rub them after we’ve been reading a book or newspaper, or following an extended period of time at the computer. However, despite the seemingly innocuous nature of this act, there are several reasons why it is advisable to stop.

Protect Your Eyes from Bacteria

Hands are often filthy bacteria-ridden things that have been touching surfaces around the house such as, light switches, restrooms, and keyboards. They may also have been touching outside areas where there are more aggressive accumulations of bacteria derived from a multitude of persons on a daily basis.  If you happen to rub this bacteria into your eye sockets without first washing your hands, you are introducing these germs to your eye, which can lead to infection. Allergy sufferers should be especially aware. The eyelashes are little-known harborers of various allergens, so if you were to rub your eye, they might enter and expose your eyes to even more discomfort.

Dark Circles and Crow’s Feet

Rubbing your eyes with a little too much gusto can lead to dark circles around the eyes. This is caused by the fragile blood vessels beneath the very thin layer of skin breaking under the force and pressure. In time this can lead to sagging wrinkling skin around the eyes.

Pressure on the Cornea

A condition called Keratoconus might result from the constant pressure and manipulation of the eye, which can gradually cause the cornea to become weakened and misshapen, resulting in a significant loss of vision.  Those with Myopic eye conditions will want to make a serious effort to avoid rubbing their eyes. Progressive Myopia, an eye focusing disorder also known as nearsightedness, can be worsened or aggravated in a way that further debilitates the vision.

Our Recommendation

Do you know your own strength? Why not try and take it easy on your two best friends? The next time you are thinking about rubbing your eyes, be mindful of your eye’s anatomy. The minor sensation of relief you experience when you rub your eye is caused by the stimulation of the Vagus Nerve, which is slowing down your heart rate and triggering what is referred to as the Oculocardiac Reflex. So please, rub this area gently. And for goodness sake, take it easy on those lovely eyes of yours when removing eye make-up, and especially when wiping away your precious tears.

If you think that you are experiencing eye difficulties related to eye bacteria or excessive pressure, do not hesitate to visit Southwestern Eye Center.