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Heres Why You Should Never, Ever Rub Your Eyes

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Do you ever rub your eyes when you’re tired or stressed out? Next time you catch yourself doing it, stop right there. Rubbing your eyes could be seriously harmful to your health.

It’s one of those pieces of advice your mom or grandma probably gave you when you were little, and that you ignored once you were an adult.

Likeforgetting to wear a seat belt ortalking with food in your mouth, this is just one of many pieces of helpful childhood advice weconveniently forget once we’re grown.

Now, it might be time to harken back to the old days, and try to train yourself to stop rubbing your eyes.

It feels good, and in the short term it may even have a few health benefits. However, in the long term, rubbing your eyes means nothing but bad news for your eye health and vision.

Scroll through below to learn more about what happens when you rub your eyes, and why you need to break the habit now.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Why Do We Rub Our Eyes?

<u>Why

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

We all feel the urge to rub our eyes every now and then. It’s a totally normal instinct that we all share.

People might rub their eyes because they feel tired, because their eyes are itchy or sore, or as a response to stress.

Having an irritation in your eye is probably the most common reason for rubbing or adjusting our eyes.

What Does It Do To Our Bodies?

<u>What

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

When you rub your eyes, a few different reactionshappen in your body.

The sensation on your eyes stimulates your tear ducts, which then produce tears that can help soothe tired or irritated eyes.

Rubbing your eyes also increases your eye pressure, which stimulates the vagus nerveand creates a stress-relieving chain reaction in the body.

However, these same benefits can turn into dangers if you rub your eyes habitually.

Danger #1: It Might Age You

Danger

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

When you rub your eyes, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the delicate tissues around them.

You can damage the skin and break down the collagen that keeps it looking youthful and firm.

It’s also all too easy to break the tiny fragile blood vessels under your skin, which can contribute to worsening dark circles and puffiness.

Danger #2: You May Scratch The Surface

Danger

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

If you have an eyelash or a piece of grit in your eye, you may want to think twice before you rub.

Rubbing your eyes might temporarily soothe the itch or help wash away the foreign object, but it might also press against the surface of your eye and scratch yourcornea.

It’s much safer to simply rinse your eye out with warm distilled water.

Danger #3: It Might Worsen Your Eyesight

Danger

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Your eyesight tends to get worse as you age, no matter what.

Rubbing your eyes can hasten this process, because it might cause your cornea to change shape, a condition called keratoconus.

Keratoconus makes light come into your eyes differently, and can make your eyesight worse.

Danger #4: Vision Loss

Danger

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

We mentioned earlier that rubbing your eyeraises your eye pressure, which has a whole-body soothing effect.

Unfortunately, eye pressure (that is, the pressure of internal fluid on the exterior of the eye) isn’t supposed to get that high.

Over time, the high pressure can disrupt blood flow to the back of the eye andcontribute to conditions like glaucomathat cause permanent vision loss.

Danger #5: Your Hands Are Covered In Germs

Danger

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

Your hands might look clean, but they are secretly pretty gross.

Putting your fingers in or around your eyes is a great way to transmit bacteria and other microorganisms, and end up with illnesses like pink eye and conjunctivitis.

That’s why eye doctors always instruct you to wash your hands before putting in contacts, and why you should never ever touch your eyes with dirty hands.

What Should You Do About It?

<u>What

Morgan Swofford for LittleThings

The best way to stop rubbing your eyes is to simply exert your willpower and try to break the bad habit by stopping yourself whenever you start.

You can also try replacing the bad habit with something else, like taking a sip of water every time you want to rub your eyes.

You should also consider talking to your doctor. If your eyes are frequently itchy or dry, it might be time to get them checked out. Your doctor could recommendeye drops or other medication to help.

Do you rub your eyes often? Let us know in the comments, and don’t forget toSHAREwith anyone else stuck in this bad habit.

Read more: https://www.littlethings.com/never-rub-your-eyes/

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