Rubbing our eyes from irritation or itchiness is almost like second nature, sometimes we just do it without really thinking about it. When humans begin feeling tired or have a sense of straining in their eyes from staring at a computer all day, rubbing our eyes is a form of relief. It’s an act that seems completely harmless but it’s a bad habit that can damage one’s vision.
Why Do We Rub Our Eyes?
Eye rubbing helps relax the muscles surrounding them, these muscles can become strained through fatigue, not blinking enough, or too much screen time usage (e.g., smartphone, computer, television, tablet, etc.). Dust, allergens, and other external irritants may also come into contact with our corneas throughout the day which may cause someone to rub their eyes. The occasional ocular massager, when performed gently, can offer some benefits, like:
- Helps lubricate dry/itchy eyes
- Can help to relieve stress by slowing your heart rate
These benefits come with safety precautions as rubbing your eyes too frequently or harshly may damage your vision long-term. This is something that we at Eye Physicians of North Houston would like to help you avoid. It is also worth mentioning that rubbing your eyes after encountering an irritant often only serves to exacerbate the problem rather than alleviate it.
Additional Reasons to Stop Rubbing Your Eyes:
- Dark Circles Under Eyes:
This simple act can cause tiny blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface to burst, resulting in dark circles, puffiness, and even blood-shot eyes. Premature crow’s feet and droopy eyelids (dermatochalasis) have also contributed to rubbing.
- The Transfer of Bacteria
When we touch something, then touch our eyes without first washing our hands, we risk transferring that bacteria which can result in infections like conjunctivitis.
- The Potential for Injury
You should always allow your eye’s natural defense mechanism (i.e. tears) to take care of the problem. If that does not work, you can use artificial tear drops, which can be picked up at almost any pharmacy without the need for a prescription.
Protect your eyes this season. If you find yourself with any kind of eye irritation, contact us today at (281) 893-1760 for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. You can always expect to receive compassionate and comprehensive care at Eye Physicians of North Houston.