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Can Rubbing Your Eyes Harm Your Vision?

Rubbing your eyes are a natural reaction that just about everyone does.  Whether it’s because you feel like you have something in your eye, you just woke up, you are sleepy, or you feel like your eye is itchy, rubbing the eyes seems to be one of the only things that feels like an immediate source of relief.  Some people even rub their eyes when they are stressed out or anxious.  Rubbing of the eyes can also come in many different forms—from one to multiple fingers, knuckles, to the palms of the hand. For more information about eye treatment in Orange County, utilize the services of Advanced Eye Medical.

All that being said, one question you may (or may not) have considered is whether rubbing your eyes can actually do any damage to your eyes and vision.

The answer to this, like many things in life, is…it depends.

The sporadic, momentary rub of the eye is not usually too much reason for concern.  In fact, this occasional rubbing of the eye is known to have some benefits.  One of the reason why rubbing the eyes when they feel dry or itchy is such a natural reaction is because it results in the production of tears to help lubricate the eye and provide some relief to the eye.  This can help to remove dust or other particles that may be irritating the eye.  Pressing down on the eyeball stimulates nerves which can slow down the heart rate, which can provide some form of stress and anxiety relief. For a list of remedies to common eye problems, seek eye treatment in Orange County.

This all sounds like great reasons to rub your eyes, but here’s when rubbing your eyes can be harmful.

Too Much Pressure

One of the ways that rubbing the eyes can be harmful is when you put too much pressure on the eyeball.  By rubbing your eyeball too hard and for too long, you increase eye pressure.  This increase in pressure to the eye can be troublesome for those with short-sightedness.  In some cases, patients have actually experienced the detachment of the retina which can be extremely dangerous and cause for concern.  Additionally, patients with glaucoma can experience a disruption in blood flow due to an increase in eye pressure.  This can then lead to nerve damage, which can then ultimately affect your ability to see properly (or at all).

Infecting the Eye

Another more common harmful side effect of eye-rubbing is the potential risks of infecting the eye.  People carry numerous germs on their fingers, underneath their nails and cuticles, and on their hands.  Every time you rub your eye, you put your eyes at risk of getting these germs in the eyes and infecting the eye.  Then, once the eye is infected, if not properly treated, you potentially risk damage to your eyes and vision.

Additionally, if you continually rub your eyes, you can also risk scratching the surface of the eyeball with your nails if you are not careful or gentle in the way that you rub.

In conclusion, while eye-rubbing is a natural reaction, there really is no reason to ever have to rub your eyes and being more mindful and aware of when you do rub your eyes is a great way to eliminate this behavior.  Here are some common substitutions for rubbing your eyes in various situations.

  • Something in Your Eye. If you feel like you have something in your eye, the best way to get it out is by washing your eyes out with cool water.  This will help to naturally flush out anything that may have gotten into them.  Additionally, if you work around a lot of dust, chemical, or particles, it would be good to consider wearing safety goggles to protect your eyes before you get something into them.
  • Dry, Itchy Eyes. If your eyes are dry and itchy, the best way to treat them is through the use of eye drops to help lubricate and rehydrate your eyes. If you notice that your eyes are dry and itchy often, you may also want to seek the help of an eye doctor to check and make sure that there’s nothing else wrong with your eyes that may be causing the dry eyes.
  • Stressed or Anxious. Stress and anxiety are bound to happen, so figuring out a way to find a healthy outlet to manage your stress and anxiety is key to avoiding adding any additional concerns to your life by potentially causing any harm to your eyes or vision. From breathing techniques, meditation, and physical activity, there are a number of ways to better manage your stress than to take them out on your eyes!

Eye Treatment in Orange County

If you are located in the Orange County area of Southern California and suffer from constant eye irritation and eye-rubbing, contact the medical professionals at Advanced Eye Medical today at 1-866-997-2020 or by e-mail at info@laserforeyes.com.  We can take a look at your overall eye health and make recommendations for treatment.

First Aid Tips for Four Common Eye Injuries

An essential part of keeping your eyes healthy is knowing what to do should they sustaining an injury. While it is important to see an eye care professional in the event of an injury is also important to apply the proper first aid to avoid permit damage. Here are some first aid tips for four common eye injuries. Be sure to follow these steps should you sustain any of these injuries

If your eye gets cut or punctured

If you sustain this type of an injury, you require immediate medical attention. However, there are steps you can take to avoid making your injury worse before going to the eye doctor or the emergency room. Firstly, it is important not to rub your eyes or try to remove anything from it. In order to avoid irritating your eye, you should place something rigid and circular over it as a protective layer, for example, you could cut out the bottom of a paper cup. Be sure not to put any pressure on your eyes you can avoid this by gently taping the protective cover over your eye. After you’ve secured your protective cover, seek emergency medical attention.

If you get objects in your eye

It is important to not rub your eye or try to remove the object by hand because you may accidentally scratch your cornea. Instead, you can try removing the object by using a damp Q-tip to flush out your eye. Or you could use eyewash or water to rinse out your eye. If none of these things are available to you, it is always possible to remove the object by making yourself cry it out. After you treated it, you may need to visit an eye care professional to be sure the object has been removed.

If you get chemicals in your eye

It is important to flush out your eye immediately should you sustain this type of injury or else you risk permit damage to your eye. Stand underneath the shower or hold your head under the faucet to flush out your eye and use both hands to hold your eye open. Flush your eye out for 15 minutes and get immediate medical care afterward.

If you sustained a blow to the eye

You should apply a cold compress or ice pack to your eye to reduce pain and swelling. Be sure to hold the compress or ice pack to your eye gently without applying any pressure. Keeping your head elevated will also reduce the swelling. If you continue to experience pain or if there is a change in your vision be sure to see an eye care professional as soon as possible.

Now that you know some first aid tips for four of the most common eye injuries be sure to utilize them in the event that you sustain any of these injuries. If you have any further questions about first aid for eye injuries, feel free to contact us. And if you need to schedule an appointment, simply visit laserforeyes.com.

9 Serious Eye Symptoms to Watch Out For

Routine eye exams are critical to maintaining your vision health. Early detection is crucial to avoiding serious and permanent damage from correctable eye conditions such as cataracts and glaucoma. While annual eye exams can detect and treat these progressive eye conditions, you may experience symptoms that require immediate attention such as blurry vision or eye pain.

If you experience any of the following symptoms, be sure to seek medical attention immediately:

Eye Floaters, Flashes, or Shadows in Your Vision

Beware if you experience a gray shadow in your peripheral vision, a gray curtain that appears across your line of sight, a sudden onset of flashing lights, or a significant increase in the amount of eye floaters: these could all be signs of a detached retina. The retina is the thin nerve layer at the back of the eye that sends images to the brain via the optic nerve. Physical injury to the eye, diseases like glaucoma, and nearsightedness can all lead to retinal detachment. Retinal detachment needs to be surgically treated, or else it can lead to blindness.

One Red Eye

If both of your eyes are red, you have most likely contracted a cold or conjunctivitis, which is a relatively harmless inflammation. However, if just one of your eyes is red, it may be an indication of a more severe eye infection such as scleritis or uveitis. Scleritis is the inflammation of the outer protective barrier surrounding the eye. Uveitis is the inflammation of the middle coating of the eye. Both of these infections are serious, and require antibiotics or medicated eye drops to clear up.

Blurry Vision

Blurry vision can signal numerous eye disorders, from a torn retina to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In addition, blurred or loss of vision in one eye can be an early indicator of a stroke. Blurred vision in one eye can also indicate that the carotid artery, which is a major supplier of blood to the eye, is blocked.

Any Loss of Vision

Sudden vision loss could be a sign of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). While this is usually considered a progressive disorder, it can develop quickly in some cases. The loss of vision can also indicate a certain kind of glaucoma.

Eye Pain

Eye pain may be a symptom of glaucoma, dry eye, eye injury, and even eye cancer.

Discomfort Wearing Contact Lenses

Contact lenses that are not cared for properly can lead to serious eye infections. If you experience eye discomfort while wearing contact lenses, consult your eye care professional.

Eye Injury

Any eye injury should be examined by an ophthalmologist, especially if you experience redness or pain for longer than 20 minutes thereafter.

Persistent Irritation

If you experience persistent eye irritation after exposure to harsh chemicals, such as when cleaning, see a doctor immediately.

Eye Surgery Complications

If you experience any redness, pain, or blurry vision after having an eye surgery, contact an eye doctor immediately for an evaluation.

If you or a loved one experience any of these symptoms, schedule an examination with Dr. Ghosheh immediately.