Every year, under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Sight Day is celebrated on the second Thursday of October. The day is observed to raise awareness on vision impairment, including blindness.
This year, World Sight Day will be observed on October 14, 2021, and the theme is ‘love your eyes’. Part of loving your eyes includes taking care of them, and refraining from habits such as rubbing the eyes, as it can have an adverse impact on overall eye health.
Besides pollution and general tiredness, the proliferation of digital technologies has increased our screen time. These factors can make our eyes experience itchiness, dryness, tiredness, and burning, thereby making us take to rubbing the eyes. It could also be an indicator of allergy, infection, or merely a result of reflex of habit.
Rubbing the eyes can cause various issues with regards to eye health, and hence it is advisable to refrain from it.
i) Risk of injury and chronic conditions
In case the eyes are rubbed too hard or too often, it can lead to injury, and development of serious ailments such as keratoconus (bulging and thinning of cornea). As per research published in International Journal of Ophthalmology, eye rubbing causes the thinning of cornea, and the degree of effect of eye rubbing depends on the period and force of performing eye rubbing.
ii) Can cause an infection or allergy
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Infection such as conjunctivitis may occur as a result of eye rubbing. This happens when the bacteria or a virus on your fingers is transmitted when you rub your eyes. The same factor could also trigger an allergic reaction, and in fact may cause you to rub your eyes even more.
iii) Irritation and burning sensation
Spices and dirt accumulated after eating could be transmitted from the fingers to your eyes. Lack of hygiene could cause irritation and burning sensation due to eye rubbing, making you feel itchy and leading to redness.
So, ladies, this World Sight Day, take a moment to be mindful of your eye health, and refrain from rubbing your eyes.