Do You Know Rubbing Your Eyes Can Harm Your Vision?

Written by Levin Eye Care on . Posted in Eye Health

Rubbing your eyes

Rubbing your eyes can

Do you ever find yourself rubbing your eyes as you wake up in the morning? How about after a long day working at your computer?

When our eyes are tired or irritated, our first instinct may be to rub them for relief. Even though it seems harmless, that small sense of alleviation may come at a serious cost to your vision. 

Why Do We Rub Our Eyes?

We often rub our eyes when they are irritated—either from dryness, fatigue, or from external irritants like dust or allergens. Tired and fatigued eyes often become dry as a result. Gently rubbing your eyes helps trigger the secretion of tears, helping lubricate eyes that are dry or itchy.

Rubbing your eyes doesn’t just help produce tears to provide relief. Surprisingly, it can help relieve stress too. Pressing down on the eyeball can stimulate the vagus nerve, which slows down your heart rate and relieves stress by triggering your oculocardiac reflex.

Despite the benefits associated with an occasional gentle ocular massage, rubbing your eyes can potentially do more harm than good.

Bacteria Transfers From Your Hands to Your Eyes

We use our hands for just about everything throughout the day. From working on your computer to cleaning up around the house, they are introduced to a host of bacteria. Anytime we touch our eyes without washing our hands, we risk transferring that bacteria and exposing our eyes to infection.

And if you’re rubbing your eyes for allergy relief, you could be making it worse!Allergens can become trapped in your eyelashes and when rubbed, can be transferred to the eye’s surface.

Rubbing Your Eyes Can Cause Dark Circles

As we get older, the skin around our eyes is one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Rubbing your eyes can cause tiny blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface to break, resulting in dark circles, puffiness, and can even contribute to premature crow’s feet and drooping eyelids.

Although eye rubbing can be a contributor, those dark circles—also known as periorbital circles—can also be caused by:

  • illness
  • allergies
  • prolonged tobacco use
  • alcohol consumption
  • excess salt intake.

Resisting the urge to rub your eyes and avoiding substances like tobacco and alcohol can keep the skin around your eyes looking fresh and vibrant.

Rubbing Your Eyes Can Cause Excess Pressure!

Even light rubbing can double the pressure in your eyes. Activities such as removing makeup or wiping away tears can add even more pressure. Aggressive eye rubbing can increase eye pressure by as much as 20 times. For most, the pressure will return to normal after they finish rubbing, but some with certain eye conditions risk seriously harming their vision.

Those with progressive myopia—a common type of short-sightedness—can find that excessive rubbing worsens their vision. In some cases, their retina may detach from the back of the eye due to the extreme pressure.

Rubbing can harm the front of the eye as well. The combination of the pressure exerted and the rubbing motion of the hand can potentially damage the cornea. This may either cause a tear, or weaken the cornea and cause it to be misshapen, resulting in a condition called keratoconus. Both causing significant loss of vision.

We Can Help You Achieve Clear, Healthy Vision

We understand how tempting it can be to rub your eyes when they’re a bit dry or tired. If your eye’s natural defenses aren’t quite enough, try using eye drops to relieve the discomfort. You’re health is important to us and we love helping our patients achieve clear, comfortable vision.

If you have any questions about how to calm your eye irritation, make an appointment or let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for continuing to place your trust in our practice!

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Jacqueline Anderson
Jacqueline Anderson

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 months ago

Amazing office, from staff to the doctor all were exactly what I wanted And needed. My kids thought they were great as well which is important to me. They fit me in for an appointment last minute and stayed late when it ran over. They helped me figure out a way to pay my bill that I could afford. Every step they were there for me, friendly and smiling. I'd recommend this office without reservation to anyone seeking quality eye care! Thank you all for being so wonderful, I truly appreciate it.

Cynthia Sacramento
Cynthia Sacramento

5 out of 5 stars

posted 3 weeks ago

I have been going to Levin for 2 years. Very personable staff, knowledgeable and always helpful. Love my newest Gucci glasses. Easy to be seen as well.

cran23
cran23

5 out of 5 stars

posted 2 months ago

The employees here are very helpful and helped me pick the perfect sun glasses! They offer care credit which makes it easier to get what you want and have more time to pay. Thank you guys! :)

Loretta Northcutt
Loretta Northcutt

1 out of 5 stars

posted 2 weeks ago

I would give this business no stars if it were possible. I decided to support a small town business and skip Walmart. Well, I'm in Walmart now anyway.

When I entered this business both the employees at the desk gave me a puzzled look. I was greeted cheerfully and offered assistance. I only want to get the screws on my son's glasses tightened. I informed the employees that we were here for adjustments. A male employee asked me what was wrong with the glasses. Huh?!

In the not so distant past when you entered an eyeglass store asking for adjustments an employee would ask you to put on your glasses, check them, and proceed to tighten screws, clean them, and etc. I was puzzled at this point, and I showed him the loose sides. I was asked if I was a patient. When I answered no, I was given a form to fill out and told that I would have to pay $10. They weren't even sure if it would be $10.

I immediately informed the employees that I would go somewhere where the adjustments are free i.e. ANY other eyeglass place (Pearl, Lens Crafters, Walmart, Macys, For Eyes). He informed me that usually the warranty is handled by wherever you purchased the glasses and that EVERY place is different. No it isn't. I've been doing this since the late '80s/early '90s. Epic fail Levin Optical.

We went to Walmart (RIP Small Town USA) and got the screws in the arms tightened and the glasses thoroughly cleaned. I really wanted to start a relationship with this place. Now my son wants to purchase his new pair of glasses from Walmart. Ugh!

Melissa Fasano
Melissa Fasano

5 out of 5 stars

posted 1 week ago

We just picked up my 4yr old's first pair of glasses. Everyone in the office is so friendly and helpful!!

1334 119th St
Whiting, IN 46394

+1-219-659-3050

James D.'s Review James D.
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Dr. Levin and his staff have excellent attention to detail and lots of patience. They answered all my questions and made me feel super welcomed with a snack...

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Jim F.'s Review Jim F.
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Levin Eye Care Center stands head and shoulders above many businesses.

They are excellent with customer service, pay special attention to detail,work hard...

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I was just recently here for a routine eye exam and also needed some new glasses. I just got new insurance through work and needed to find an office that...

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