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Does scratching your eyes damage your vision? Understand the risks of the habit

Do you have the habit of scratching your eyes frequently ? Although it may seem harmless, the habit can pose risks to eye health, especially when done intensively. A keratoconus a disease characterized by thinning and distortion of the cornea (a type of lens located in the anterior portion of the eyes), and eye infections are some of the risks related to the practice.

“Frequently scratching your eyes can cause injuries to the conjunctiva and cornea and, for predisposed people, trigger keratoconus disease,” says Ione Alexim, ophthalmologist at Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz, to CNN . “In more serious cases, it can also predispose to retinal detachment”, he warns.

But, after all, what causes the itchy eyes ? According to the specialist, irritative, inflammatory, infectious and, mainly, allergic processes are related to itchy eyes. Furthermore, according to Antônio Jordão Jr., ophthalmologist at Hapvida Notredame Intermédica, environmental pollution and problems with eye lubrication can also lead to the symptom.

Main signs and symptoms of eye injuries

One of the first symptoms associated with eye injuries and changes caused by the habit of scratching the eyes is worsening vision. “This can occur suddenly or progressively, depending on the severity”, explains Jordão Jr. “Any situation in which a decrease in the quality of vision is noticed should be interpreted as a warning sign, and an ophthalmologist should be consulted immediately”, complete.

Additionally, other symptoms may appear, such as:

  • Burning in the eyes;
  • Eye redness;
  • Tearing;
  • Visual blur.

How to relieve itchy eyes without harming eye health?

The first step is identify and treat the cause of the itch . Generally, the symptom is related to conditions such as conjunctivitis, blepharitis, dry eye and eye allergies, among others. “Treatment may include everything from cleaning the eyelids and eyelashes with a neutral shampoo and using local cold compresses, to the use of medication, such as lubricating, anti-allergic or anti-inflammatory eye drops,” says Alexim.

Another strategy that can help, depending on the case, is to use cold compresses and, in cases of allergies, the use of anti-allergy eye drops. “Of course, all this care and treatment must be supervised by a trained professional, as self-medication can also be very dangerous”, highlights Jordão Jr.

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Source: CNN Brasil

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