3 Ways To Soothe Burning Eyes, According To An Optometrist

Walking in blustery winters, wearing a mask, or making uninterrupted eye contact with a computer screen are just a few factors that can trigger the temptation to rub your eyes. As satisfying as it can be in the moment, that seemingly simple act can have deleterious effects on eye health

According to optometrist Carly Rose, O.D., the side effects of rubbing your eyes go beyond just a red and irritated look. “We know eye rubbing is linked to keratoconus, allergies, glaucoma, dark circles under your eyes, and wrinkles,” she says in a TikTok video. “You can also injure the surface of your eyes, your eyelids, or cause infections.” 

While all of that sounds pretty undesirable, it can be hard to resist the temptation to rub—especially when eyes become dry, itchy, or invaded by a pesky piece of fuzz. 

Rather than trying to talk yourself out of the pain (though mindfulness and breathwork may help reduce pain temporarily), Rose recommends these three eye rubbing alternatives: 

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