Top 4 side effects of chronic eye rubbing

Chronic eye rubbing should be avoided. After prolong work with the computer or mobile devices we feel tired of eyes, itching or irritation of our eyes. Eye rubbing makes us feel comfortable from itching, irritation, and dryness.  We should not put much pressure on eyes while rubbing. Occasional eye rubbing is not harmful to eyes but putting excessive pressure on eyes while rubbing or more rubbing can be harmful to eyes in future.  If any foreign body falls into eyes, generally we rub which produce the excessive tear. Excessive tears help to come out a foreign body from our eyes.  Minimal rubbing of eyes is good for the heart because of it slow down the heart beat rate. Rubbing of the eye stimulates the Vagus nerve which helps to reduce the pulse rate of the heart.

As I told before excessive rubbing (Too often), rub eyes with too hard or longer period rubbing have some side effects which is dangerous for future. Here some side effects of eye rubbing:-

Spread infection:- Touching eye without washing can spread infection. Suppose someone has pink eye (Conjunctivitis) and the virus or bacteria spread from him to desk or door lock. Now from desk or door lock it touches to your hand and that may transfer to your eyes. Then definitely there will be a chance to spread conjunctivitis to your eyes. Whenever you touch your eyes, always clean your hand before that.

 Chronic eye rubbing with pressure
eye rubbing

Foreign body injury:- If any foreign body or dust fall into your eyes please do not  rub your eyes tightly. Rubbing of the eyes can give you initial comfort but it can scratch your cornea. Once it scratches your cornea then virus or bacteria can spread infection into the cornea. Foreign body injury is one of the causes or microbial keratitis or fungal keratitis. Vegetable or plants particle injury is one of the causes of the cause’s fungal keratitis. We all know that fungal keratitis more danger than microbial keratitis. Scar due to keratitis can decrease our vision.


Corneal thinning: So much of us aware about Corneal ectasia or Keratoconus or cornea keratoconus. Till now there is no known cause for keratoconus. But excessive eye-rubbing is one of the causes of corneal thinning which lead keratoconus in future. This is the long term side effects of eye rubbing.


Dark circle under the eyelid- There are many small tiny blood vessels present in our eyelids. Those blood vessels can break due to rubbing surround the eyes which lead dark circles to surround the eyes. Generally, people think the condition because of less sleep.

Also Note:-

Post-LASIK:- Laik flap can be dislocated if the surgery performed recently.

Corneal suture:- Corneal sutures can be loose or broken due to eye rubbing. 

How to prevent eye irritation?
  1. Blink more while work with computer or mobile or other visual display units
  2. Frequently wash your eyes with clean water
  3. Use lubricants eye drop if eyes are dry
  4. Use sunglasses or protective glasses while go outside
Hope this article will help you about the disadvantages of eye rubbing. Please do not rub your eyes for your better future. Also read:- Reduce dryness and tiredness of eyes without medicine

Krishnendu Mandal
Optometrist, Blogger, Blogging since Jan 2016



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