Can Eye-Rubbing Cause Keratoconus

Published on
October 31, 2022

Does rubbing your eyes cause keratoconus? Today we'll discuss that question. In short, yes, it can. Let's begin by discussing what keratoconus is.

Does rubbing your eyes cause keratoconus?

When it comes to what are the causes of keratoconus, the exact mechanism of action is complex and not entirely known. But we do know that there is a genetic component associated with keratoconus. And it is believed that keratoconus is also related to an automatic breakdown of the collagen structures within the cornea resulting in that cornea to become thinner. The problem with rubbing your eyes is that it can cause microdamage to the collagen in the eye, causing damage to the cornea. When the enzyme tries to repair the corneal tissue, it just gets worse. Thus, it's very important not to rub your eyes because this can cause further damage and thinning of the cornea and can speed up the progression of your keratoconus.

What is keratoconus?

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease of the cornea, which is the front part of your eye. With keratoconus, your cornea becomes increasingly thinner over time, causing it to bulge out and protrude out, resulting in an irregular corneal surface. As a result, your cornea can become scarred and have irregular astigmatism.

An irregular corneal surface can cause symptoms such as redness and swelling. During severe and end-stage keratoconus, certain areas of the cornea can become so thin that they rupture, resulting in pain.

When does keratoconus begin to develop?

In most cases, keratoconus develops between the ages of late teens and early twenties. Over time, the visual symptoms tend to worsen. Therefore, it's really important to catch this disease early on. As a result of earlier diagnosis, we can initiate treatment earlier on, which will then result in a better visual outcome.

Keratoconus: what causes it?

The exact mechanisms that cause Keratoconus are not entirely clear. We do know that there is a genetic component to keratoconus. In addition, it is believed that keratoconus is additionally caused or at the minimum exacerbated by a breakdown of collagen structures within the cornea, causing the cornea to become thinner.

What can be done for Keratoconus 

Patients with keratoconus have seen incredible results with specialized contact lenses called Scleral lenses. These contacts utilize a very unique vaulted design to create a new optical surface, improving vision and comfort. Patients visit our contact lens practice from all over New York, and we are proud to be a leading contact lens center serving patients from , Queens, Brooklyn, Long Island. 

Schedule an appointment at Amplify EyeCare Manhattan

In case your eyes are itchy or if you rub them a lot, you should see our eye doctor right away because it could worsen your condition and cause visual impairment. Call (212) 752-6930 to schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor.

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At Amplify with Dr Wernick I was seeking help for seemingly intractable, probably age-related dryness. I've seen other doctors about it, and that has been helpful, but what he explained to me about it and the careful way he answered all my questions gave me so much more of a clear understanding of what is going on (and is not) that I am more able to implement all his and others' recommendations than I was before. And he gave me additional resources for further follow-up. I am most grateful.


Cynthia Norton

Wow! This is a great Eye Care medical facility. I was thoroughly examined by Dr. Pinkhasov for over 2 hours. She made sure to check my eyes for pretty much everything and patiently explained proper care for my eyes. They definitely know how to provide great care and treat their patients right. Now I know why they have such a great reputation and been around for so long.


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Dr. Kavner is a gifted diagnostician and orthoptic therapist. He treated me several decades ago for a condition similar to dyslexia. I was having migraines five times per week. I worked with him for about a year and I experienced tremendous improvement (down to 3-4 per year) that has lasted.


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Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Peter G.

Dr. Kavner recommended two types of eye therapy for my daughter. One of them using bio-feedback. In just three sessions she is seeing considerably better. She shouted this morning: Ooh my God! I could not see these letters with my glasses on, and now I can see them without my glasses. If you are willing and able to invest in improving your vision, this is a good place to go to!


Kinkie F.

I have always found Dr Kavner's work, expertise and wisdom of the highest caliber. As one of the fathers of OT, occupational othomology, his depth and breadth of knowledge about the eyes' health and wellbeing of the patient is exemplary. Cannot say enough good things about him.


Allen B.
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