itchy eyes

Why Rubbing Your Eyes is Bad for You

Everyone knows you're not supposed to. But why?


  • Short-term:
    • Rubbing your eyes when they're itchy or irritated can cause break down of the cells within the eyelids and on the surface of the eye ball. This releases more histamines which make the itchiness worse.
    • Also, rubbing can cause breakage of small blood vessels in the eyelids which can result in dark circles forming around your eyes


  • Long-term:
    • consistent long-term rubbing of the eyes, especially in kids, can potentially lead to a condition called keratoconus
      • Keratoconus is a condition where the front surface of the eye (the cornea) becomes thinner and thus loses its shape. This results in blurry vision for the patient, which cannot always be fully corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Why Do My Eyes Itch?


- most obvious answer, but not necessarily most common

- signs: swollen/puffy eyelids, watery eyes, bumps under eyelids (seen by your doctor), diffuse and more intense itch


Blepharitis (blepharo- = eyelids, -itis= inflammation)

- so, inflammation/irritation of eyelids, very common

- could be due to mild bacterial infection or blockage of glands at the base of eyelashes

- signs: redness along eyelid margin, itchiness usually concentrated at eyelid margin or at the corners of your eyes but not as intense as with allergies, also watery eyes