Why Rubbing Your Eyes is Unhealthy and How to Stop

Rubbing your eyes may seem like a harmless habit, but it can actually have negative consequences for your eye health. In this short educational blog post, we'll explore why rubbing your eyes is unhealthy and provide practical tips to help you break this habit for good.

Why Rubbing Your Eyes is Unhealthy:

  1. Spread of Germs:

    Our hands come into contact with numerous surfaces throughout the day, making them a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. When you rub your eyes with unwashed hands, you risk introducing harmful pathogens into your eyes, increasing the likelihood of infections like conjunctivitis (pink eye).

  2. Eye Irritation:

    Rubbing your eyes can exacerbate existing eye irritation by transferring allergens, dust, and other particles from your hands to your eyes. This can lead to redness, itching, and inflammation, making your symptoms worse.

  3. Corneal Abrasions:

    The cornea, the clear outer layer of the eye, is delicate and easily damaged. Rubbing your eyes vigorously can cause corneal abrasions or scratches, leading to pain, discomfort, and potential vision problems.

  4. Increased Eye Pressure:

    Rubbing your eyes can temporarily increase intraocular pressure, particularly if done forcefully. This can be problematic for individuals with conditions like glaucoma, as elevated eye pressure can damage the optic nerve and worsen vision loss over time.

Tips to Stop Rubbing Your Eyes:

  1. Identify Triggers:

    Pay attention to situations or triggers that prompt you to rub your eyes, such as allergies, fatigue, or stress. Once you identify these triggers, you can take proactive steps to address them and reduce the urge to rub your eyes.

  2. Practice Mindfulness:

    Practice mindfulness techniques to become more aware of your actions and break the habit of rubbing your eyes reflexively. Take a moment to pause and assess whether rubbing your eyes is necessary or if there are alternative ways to alleviate discomfort.

  3. Keep Your Hands Busy:

    Occupy your hands with other activities to reduce the temptation to rub your eyes. Try squeezing a stress ball, fidget spinner, or keeping your hands occupied with a hobby or task that requires manual dexterity.

  4. Use Eye Drops:

    If your eyes feel dry or irritated, use lubricating eye drops or artificial tears to provide relief without resorting to rubbing. Keep a bottle of eye drops handy and use them as needed throughout the day.

  5. Wear Glasses or Protective Eyewear:

    If you're prone to rubbing your eyes due to allergies or environmental irritants, consider wearing glasses or protective eyewear to shield your eyes from allergens, dust, and debris.

  6. Practice Good Eye Hygiene:

    Wash your hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the risk of transferring germs to your eyes. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, to minimize the spread of bacteria and viruses.


Breaking the habit of rubbing your eyes is essential for maintaining optimal eye health and preventing complications like infections, corneal abrasions, and increased eye pressure. By understanding the potential risks associated with rubbing your eyes and implementing strategies to stop this habit, you can protect your eyes and enjoy clearer, healthier vision for years to come. If you're experiencing persistent eye discomfort or irritation, consult an eye care professional for guidance and treatment options tailored to your needs.