#19 | Please Don't Rub Your Eyes

Please don't rub your eyes. 

Eye Care Tip of the Week | #19

Please Don't Rub Your Eyes

Have you ever jumped out of bed and rubbed your eyes? Have you rubbed your eyes after getting something in them? Does allergy season just make you want to scratch your eyes out? Do you rub your eyes after a bright light gets shone in them, like when you visit the optometrist? 

In each one of these situations, you are probably doing more harm than good. 

Rubbing your eyes in the morning is your bodies way of trying to express the oil out of the meibomian glands in the eyelids and to stimulate tear production. A warm washcloth over your eyes works better. 

Rubbing your eye when you think you have something in them only moves the foreign object around on your eye causing more scratches and complications. Try flushing it out with a lubricating drop, or see your optometrist. 

Rubbing your eyes during allergy season just makes things worse. Rubbing the eyes causes a more significant release of histamines making the itch and allergies worse. Place a cold washcloth over the eyes or use a lubricating eye drop to flush out the histamines from the eye. 

Rubbing your eyes after having a bright light shone on them, won't make your vision return to normal any quicker.  

Here are 6 reasons not to rub your eyes: 

  1. It can lead to an eye infection by transferring bacteria and virus' from your hands. 
  2. It makes your allergy symptoms worse
  3. Eye rubbing is a risk factor for developing a potential sight-threatening eye condition called keratoconus. 
  4. Forceful rubbing of the eyes can lead to retinal detachments in patients with high nearsightedness or myopia. 
  5. Rubbing your eyes can change the pressure in your eyes, which is terrible if you have glaucoma. 
  6. Rubbing your eyes can break the small blood vessels around your eyes, leading to dark circles under your eyelids. 

If you 'need' to rub your eyes. We recommend that you do it very gently and always wash your hands first.

The best alternative is to use either a warm or cold compress.

#18 | Wash...Wash...Wash Your Hands

Eye Care Tip of the Week #18 - Wash...Wash...Wash Your Hands

Eye Care Tip of the Week | #18

Wash...Wash...Wash Your Hands 

When in doubt, wash your hands. 

Many eye infections can be prevented by simply washing your hands before rubbing your eyes or inserting and removing your contact lenses. 

Regularly washing your hands helps to remove dirt, dead skin cells and to reduce the spread of germs to yourself and others.  

Your hands come into contact with bacteria and virus' all day long, and these transient strains need to be removed. Failure to wash your hands before inserting and removing your contact lenses or rubbing your eyes results in the transfer of bacteria to the contact lens and may lead to an eye infection. 

To get your hands extra clean, make sure that you wash them with soap and water (warm or cold - they're both equal) for at least 20-30 seconds. Always dry your hands afterwards with a clean towel. Wiping your hands on your shirt and pants does not count. 

10 Common Activites Where You Should Be Washing Your Hands

  1. Before and after eating, or when preparing food 

  2. Before and after going to the washroom

  3. After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing

  4. After taking out the garbage

  5. Before inserting or removing your contact lenses

  6. Before adding eye drops

  7. Every day when you get home from school or work. 

  8. After playing with pets and animals

  9. While caring for someone who is sick or after visiting a hospital

  10. Before holding a baby or after changing their diapers. 

When in doubt...rewash your hands. 


This Eye Care Tip of the Week is brought to you by Dr. Puneet Randhawa