Feb 3, 2021


Interviewer: Now, rubbing your eyes can feel so good but, actually, could be really bad for your eye health. Ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Mifflin, tell me more.

Dr. Mifflin: It wouldn't be necessarily intuitive that rubbing one's eyes could result in actual damage to the eye, but it's fairly common. Chronic eye rubbing can result in a weakening of the cornea and distortion of the cornea called keratoconus. The shape causes irregular astigmatism which often cannot be corrected by glasses or even contact lenses in its severe stages. And, unfortunately, some of these people are so itchy that nothing feels better than, I call it, "the knuckle rub." Unfortunately, over time, that can actually weaken and distort the eye.

Interviewer: So, if you struggle with itchy eyes, don't rub them. Try allergy drops or go see your eye doctor instead.

updated: February 3, 2021
originally published: April 29, 2020

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