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This is How You Transfer Millions Of Bacteria To Your Eyes

This is How You Transfer Millions Of Bacteria To Your Eyes

Ouch! We all know that irritated dry eye feeling that comes along with staring at a screen for far too long. Hey, I’m dealing with it right now as we speak (or as I type?). Our eyes strain to stay focused on the artificially illuminated images and it takes a toll on our overworked eyeballs. For those who work full time on their laptop, they’re spending about 8 hours a day staring at a screen. If that isn’t enough, the average person spends at least 2 hours scrolling through their phone, staring at yet again another screen. That’s 10 full hours of staring.

Not only that, but then we have to deal with commuting. Again our eyes have to stay focused for extended periods of time. Often resulting in tunnel vision and burning, sleepy eyes.

Your eyes need a break!

Instinctively, when your eyes start to feel a bit irritated you rub them for relief. While that might alleviate the situation momentarily, you could actually be making the situation worse.

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If your eyes feel itchy or irritated, it’s because they’ve been dried out or may have something in them that shouldn’t be there. The only thing that will every solve this problem is lubrication. Rubbing is never the answer. In fact, innocently rubbing your eyes to rid yourself of an itch is opening your eyes to a multitude of issues such as:

1. Scratched corneas

Your eyes may be bothering you due to particles that made their way in. And when you scratch, you are rubbing those particles into your eyes and could actually cause them to scratch your eye. This happened to me a few years ago on the beach. Some sand blew into my face, I rubbed my eyes to get it out, and ended up severely scratching my cornea. By rubbing my eyes, I made the situation much worse.

2. Darker circles around the eyes

Those dark circles around your eyes aren’t actually caused by sleep deprivation. They are actually the result of the tiny blood vessels around your eyes breaking and rising to the surface, mostly due to accidental eye rubbing during your sleeping hours.

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3. More itching and possible Infection

Think about what you’re using to touch your fragile eyes with. More likely than not, you’re not washing your hands before you give your eyes a good rub down. Your fingers are crawling with bacteria. And now you are transferring that bacteria into your eyes, opening yourself up to infections such as pink eye (yuck!) And if you happen to scratch your eye with your dirty hands, then you’re putting yourself at risk for some serious long-term damage including impairment or loss of eyesight.

Most importantly, rubbing your eyes might feel good at the moment, but you really are making the situation worse. Rubbing causes your body to release more histamines, which ultimately causes more itching.

What reasons do we have to rub our eyes?

You probably do it more often than you realize. Once we identify the reasons and moments that we may be touching our eyes, the better we will become at avoiding this dirty practice.

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Staring at screens for too long

As I’d mentioned above, many people don’t have a choice in this matter. It is literally their job to work in front of a computer screen, so their eyes are exposed every day for long periods of time. The brightness from the monitors causes the eyes to strain and dry out.

Wear contact lenses that dry out your eyes

More and more people are taking off their glasses and switching over to contact lenses. At the forefront, this is an issue because they are blocking their eyes from receiving the oxygen they need. And as for the rubbing, there is already a large foreign object lodged in their eye. And when they scratch, that object is getting rubbed up against their cornea. This is opening up a huge opportunity for scratches and infections.

Everyday irritants that you cannot escape from

Sometimes your eyes just itch. Be it from allergies, tiredness, or attack of the traveling itch (we’ve all been there.) And if there’s an itch, you just want to scratch it. Every once in a while you’re going to subconsciously do it. But don’t make a practice of it. Make a point to consciously remind yourself not to rub your eyes.

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If you want to keep looking, you better not touch!

Now you know all of the horrible things that can happen to your eyes if you touch them. Itching can be annoying, but on the grand scheme of things it’s not so bad. Imagine losing your eyesight due to an infected scratch, something that could have totally been avoided. So it’s better to just not, right?

But don’t worry, I won’t let you suffer. You do have alternative options to alleviate your itch.

Always have your eye drops with you

Since many itches are caused by tiny particles floating into your eyes, keep saline solution or lubricating eye-drops on hand. If your eyes start to feel a bit dry or irritated, give them a good flush. This will resolve your issue and revitalize your eyes.

Use tissue if you really have to

Don’t touch with your hands! They’re dirty! Instead, keep a pack of tissues within reach to tap your eyes instead of rub. This way there is no direct contact with the bacteria on your hands, and you are less likely to cause any damage to your cornea. Don’t think you’re in the clear because you’re using a tissue though. Still don’t rub them! I said tap!

Treat your eyes with the utmost care, and they will continue to expose you to the beautiful sights of this world. Don’t risk your vision by the instant gratification that comes with rubbing an itch. Take the necessary precautions. And look out for your eyes.

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Jolie Choi

Gone through a few heartbreaks and lost hundreds of friends but I am still happy with my life.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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