We are all occasionally guilty of rubbing our eyes, aren’t we? Just a little rub. It even sometimes feels good! At times we are modest enough to do the eye rubbing with one finger, and at other times we rub our eyes vigorously with the heels of both hands.
In whatever situation and way you rub yours, the reality remains that eye rubbing is something we do often. It is quite natural to rub your eyes when you are experiencing sustained stress or even in situations when you are facing anxiety. In other cases, it is more common to rub your eyes when you wake in the morning. So now the question comes: how healthy is eye rubbing and could it possibly cause damage to your eyes.
Well depending on the individual, rubbing your eyes occasionally shouldn’t really be a big reason for concern. Basically rubbing your eyes has the advantage of lubricating your eyes by means of stimulation of tears. Such lubrication is helpful in washing off dust from your eyes, as well as rubbing away other irritants. Moreover, rubbing your eyes has a way of reducing your stress levels. This is because when you press down the eyeball as you when you rub on your eyes, the vagus nerve compels the heart to reasonably bring down your heart rate controllably. This kind of an oculocardiac reflex action stimulates increased relaxation.
Now, the place of worry when it comes to rubbing your eyes is the pressure that comes with it. While in some people, this increase in eye pressure is not too worrisome as it would eventually revert to normal naturally by independent default; with no long-term damage, it is not always the same for those already suffering some particular eye condition. This is more peculiar with people already suffering from myopia (a prevalent variant of shortsightedness) and glaucoma. In the case of glaucoma, increased and sustained eye pressure resulting from vigorous eye rubbing can lead to disruptions in the normal blood flow process at the back of the eyes. In the case of myopia, sustained and frequent eye rubbing can cause immense damage, which might include a detached retina.
The front of your eyes can also join the causality list of frequent eye rubbing. When this inflated eye pressure combined with the mechanical damage invoked by the rubbing, the culmination can affect your cornea. This is even been more dangerous when you rub your eyes with too much pressure, which often occurs in the morning after waking. This is because in the morning, the cornea swells from increased pressure due to reduced levels of oxygen supplied through the night.
However, all in all, rubbing your eyes is just fine in moderation. Moreover, when the it comes to rubbing your eyes, you can gently apply a wet facecloth to reduce the itch and compulsion to rub your eyes.