In our day to day, often without realizing it and automatically, we rub our eyes and are not aware that our visual health can be affected.

Rubbing your eyes continuously or with great force can cause different negative consequences:

. It can lead to the development of keratoconus. This is a pathology that causes thinning and deformation of the cornea (the outermost transparent layer of the eye), seriously affecting the eyesight. This disease, in addition to having a genetic component, is strongly linked to rubbing the eyes, either in a conscious or unconscious manner (for example, sleeping face down with the eye closed on you knuckles).

. Eye infections such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, or even systemic infections such as coronavirus. Bacteria and viruses that are present on our hands can penetrate the eye by rubbing it.

. Corneal injury if we rub the eye aggressively. Especially, they can occur in eyes that have undergone corneal refractive surgery.

. Worsen glaucoma by producing a sudden rise in intraocular pressure.

. The risk of retinal detachment increases in high myopia or retinal diseases.

. From an aesthetic point of view, it worsens the skin of the eyelids, producing the appearance of bags and dark circles under the eyes.


What can you do to prevent it?

There are different strategies to avoid rubbing your eyes.

. Blink more often. It is important to incorporate this routine into our daily life, which also helps us prevent dry eye due to overexposure to screens.

. Use physiological serum or artificial tears without preservatives.

The itching can persist for different reasons such as allergies, blepharitis, conjunctivitis..., in all cases it is important to go to the ophthalmologist to get an accurate diagnosis and treatment.


Doctor José Lamarca, ophthalmologist at the Barraquer Ophthalmology Centre