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Rubbing Your Eyes Can Do More Harm Than Good

It’s natural to want to rub your eyes when they are itchy or tired. However, you may want to think twice next time. Rubbing your eyes provides temporary relief, but can also have harmful side effects.

Three Good Reasons To Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes

#1 Rubbing Your Eyes Can Contribute To Dark Circles

Consistently rubbing your eyes can break the tiny blood vessels that surround your eyes. Over time, this can give you that shadowy, tired look around your eyes.

#2 Dirty Hands Cause Eye Infections

We use our hands for almost everything, so they tend to accumulate dirt and germs. Anytime we touch our eyes without washing our hands, we risk transferring germs and bacteria. These germs can can cause infections like pink eye.

#3 Rubbing May Cause Permanent Damage

There are many reasons your eye may feel itchy. The most obvious is that you have something in your eye. Using your hand to rub it out can scratch and permanently damage your cornea. If the itchiness is caused by allergies, rubbing can release more histamines (allergens) into the area around your eyes, and make the itchy feeling worse.

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Rely Instead On Your Eye’s Natural Defenses

Our eyes naturally produce tears in order to flush out any irritants. If your eyes are dry, though, try using eye drops to relieve the itchiness. 

If you have consistently itchy eyes, please talk to us about it! We can help you figure out what the problem is.

Thank you for being our patients and friends!

Top image by Flickr user Mish Sukharev used under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.