Rubbing brings a small sense of relief to one’s eyes, the rubbing stimulates your lacrimal glands which produces tears to tired eyes. When you wake up in the morning, one of the first things you might do is rub your eyes. The gentle pressure helps you wake up, and the movement wipes away any mucus and debris that built up in your eyes during the night. Too much rubbing can cause problems.
- You can develop a condition called Keratoconus. Keratoconus is a condition in which the clear tissue on the front of the eye (Cornea) Thins and bulges outward into a cone shape.
- Dark circles can occur. Dark circles under your eyes appear over time as rubbing causes blood vessels to break as a result the blood pools under the skin.
- Increased risk of infections. It is pretty obvious that your hands carry more germs than any other part of your body because of all that you touch throughout the day. When you rub your eyes, these germs are easily transferred and can often cause infections.
- You can damage or scratch the cornea. Rubbing your eyes when there is a foreign body in or on your eye can cause the cornea to get scratched.
- Release histamines. Allergic reactions in the eyes occur when mast cells in the eye release histamines in response to triggers. When you rub your eyes, you further irritate the mast cells, causing them to release more histamines resulting in more discomfort.
If you can’t stop rubbing your eyes, they consistently feel itchy or irritated. Schedule an eye exam, your doctor can then diagnose the problem and suggest treatment options for your ocular health.
Treatments to relieve itch and quell the urge to rub your eyes:
- Over the counter medications
- Prescription medications
- Artificial tears
- Sterile Saline Eyewash
- Compresses to relieve irritation.
- Chilled eye masks