Charlotte Contact Lens Institute

The Risks and Consequences of Eye Rubbing in Keratoconus

Worried about the consequences of eye rubbing in Keratoconus? Educate yourself on the risks and find proactive solutions to protect your eyes.

Keratoconus is an eye condition that distorts the shape of the cornea, leading to vision problems. In this blog post, we will discuss the risks associated with eye rubbing for individuals with keratoconus and how to protect your eyes from further harm.

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disorder that causes the cornea to thin and develop a cone-like shape. This abnormal corneal shape results in blurred and distorted vision. Though the exact cause remains unclear, genetic and environmental factors play a role.

Eye rubbing is a common reflex when you experience discomfort or itching. It provides temporary relief but can have dire consequences for individuals with keratoconus. The problem lies in the fragility of the cornea in those with this condition. The cornea is already weakened, and constant rubbing can cause further damage.

Corneal Thinning: The cornea in keratoconic eyes is thinner and more susceptible to damage. Rubbing your eyes puts extra pressure on this already delicate structure, potentially leading to further thinning.

  • Progression of Keratoconus: Eye rubbing may accelerate the progression of keratoconus, causing more significant changes to the shape of the cornea and worsening visual distortions. With the progression of keratoconus, many patients can develop scarring which can decrease vision.
  • Increased Discomfort: Paradoxically, while rubbing may provide temporary relief, it can lead to increased eye discomfort over time. This discomfort may be more severe and prolonged, making you more likely to rub your eyes again.
  • Risk of Infection: Eye rubbing can introduce dirt, bacteria, and other foreign particles into your eyes, increasing the risk of infections that can be particularly problematic for individuals with keratoconus.

It’s crucial for individuals with keratoconus to break the habit of eye rubbing to safeguard their eye health. Here are some strategies to help prevent eye rubbing:

  1. Lubricating Eye Drops: Use preservative-free lubricating eye drops to relieve eye dryness and reduce the urge to rub your eyes.
  2. Allergen Management: Minimize exposure to allergens that can cause itching and discomfort. This includes keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons and using air purifiers.
  3. Psychological Techniques: Learn relaxation and stress-reduction techniques to control the urge to rub your eyes when anxious or stressed.
  4. Consult an Eye Care Professional: Regular check-ups with an eye care specialist are essential for monitoring the progression of keratoconus and receiving guidance on managing the condition.

Eye rubbing in keratoconus is a dangerous habit that can lead to further corneal thinning, progression of the condition, and increased discomfort. It’s crucial to be aware of the risks and consequences and take steps to prevent eye rubbing. By working with your eye care specialist and adopting strategies to manage discomfort and stress, you can protect your eyes and preserve your vision. Remember, when it comes to keratoconus, prevention is key.

If you or a loved one is struggling with keratoconus and the temptation to rub your eyes, consider seeking professional help. At Charlotte Contact Lens Institute, our doctors offer a range of treatment strategies for eye rubbing in keratoconus. If you are at risk or struggling to control the condition, our doctors provide valuable treatments and education to help with your discomfort.

Call us at (704) 800-5230 now to make an appointment, or you can also email us at eyes deserve the best care, so don’t hesitate to take the first step toward a healthier vision.

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