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These Videos May Finally Get You to Stop Rubbing Your Eyes Once and For All

We’ve been told our entire lives not to rub our eyes. Yet we can’t seem to help ourselves. It is time to stop.




There’s no doubt about it. There’s nothing quite like a good eye rub.

When we are tired. When we are stressed. When we’ve been staring at the computer screen for what seems like hours. We simply lift our hand to our eyeballs and start to caress – either back and forth or in tiny circles – and relief is ours!

But everyone from our doctors to our mothers to our 2nd grade teachers have told us not to rub our eyes. (Not to mention… not to put anything in our ears other than our elbows or not to pick our nose in public.) Aside from being killjoys, those who caution against eye rubbing are in the right.

While rubbing your eyes can provide a level of instant relief, doing so endangers you more than you may realize.

Why do we rub our eyes?

When we get tired our eyes start to dry out. Rubbing our eyes stimulates the tear glands, which releases fluid to offer some relief.

Rubbing our eyes also can be a stress reliever. Pressing on our eyeballs stimulates the vagus nerve, which is part of the system that controls, among other things, our heart rate.


And who can resist the temptation to rub our eyes when a speck of dust or errent eyelid gets in there?

But the medical community is uniform in how it regards the rubbing of eyes. Basically, don’t do it.

Our eyes are sensitive. And we need to treat them that way. Excessive rubbing can damage our cornea and decrease our eyesight. (Keratoconus, anyone?) We also run the risk of scratching the lens when we rub our eyes to rid them of a foreign object.

Then there’s the hygiene factor. Who knows where our hands have been? We’ve all heard the line: “Eyes are a window into the soul.” Well, even more than that, our eyeballs are a doorway into our bodies for germs.

How do we stop?

We need to be vigilant about not rubbing our eyes. Temporary relief is nice. But long-term health is so much better.

If you get tired, you should probably take the clue and go to bed. (Or take a nap.)


If your eyes itch, you should try laying a damp washcloth over them or turn to a doctor-approved eye drop.

If you’re seeing double while staring at the computer screen, it is probably time to walk away for a bit. (Your legs could use a good stretch now and again anyway!)

And if that’s not enough to change your ways? Maybe these videos will help. These are MRI shots of what you are doing to your eyeballs when you rub them.

Granted. We aren’t doctors. But the professional term that came to mind when we watched these clips was: Creepy. Consider us among the converted.


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