Eye Care Community
OCD habit of touching my eyes
About This Community:

This patient support community is for discussions relating to eye care, cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, eye infections, misaligned eyes, intra-ocular implants, refractive surgery (LASIK and CK), glasses, contact lenses, amblyopia, eye injuries, dry eyes, ocular allergy, eye pain and discomfort, pediatric eye disorders, eyelid and tearduct surgery, poor eyesight, and eye surgery.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

OCD habit of touching my eyes

I have a very bad habit (I've been told it's OCD but not sure) of constantly touching my eyes to "clean them out" or in other words get all the eye boogers out, but the fact that I'm always touching them creates more, and it's so unsanitary.  I have been doing this for at least 10 years and when I say constantly, I mean constantly.  all day at work on the computer, when I'm driving, when I'm talking to people, if I watch tv, pretty much anytime my hands aren't already occupied.  I'm worried that I will eventually have vision problems because of this.  It's obviously getting loads of bacteria in my eyes, and sometimes they get really irritated but I still can't stop.  does anybody have any idea if this might cause problems other than infections?
Related Discussions
18 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Perhaps you should focus your energy on something on the outside of this. Start a new group or book club. Start painting, keep your hands busy.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Since it's OCD, you should see a psych doc.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
It is hard to find someone in the mental health community who can treat OCD effectively, so here is an article on how to choose a therapist:

http://www.ocfoundation.org/behavior-therapy.html

Also Yahoo has some free OCD groups.  Basically for your symptom you need to try not to touch them for longer and longer periods of time, and the anxiety will gradually go down and you won't feel the need to do it anymore (many people don't even need medication for this disorder).  Good luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I have the same problem. Sometimes I pick my eyes so much that it even makes it hard to see. My allergies also make my eyes so itchy that I pick my eyes even more. My eye doctor said that too much rubbing can contribute to astigmatism. My family is constantly asking me to stop rubbing or itching my eyes but it's a bad habit that i've had for at least 14 years. I also wish I could find a way to stop.
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
OMG I have the same exact problem, im 19 and i have been doing it since I was 15. The more I did it the more boogers my eyes would have (sounds gross) and now I wake up with a **** load of them and all day they just keep comming back, my eyes start to hurt after awhile and there always red, if you find out any info please let me know!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I also have the same problem. I must spend at least an hour a day 'cleaning out' my eyes and this involves turning them inside out to 'clean' the upper lid which even as I write it sounds absolutely revolting. I hardly even notice I'm doing it most of the time and often catch myself unawares at the mirror. I know it is purely a mental thing as I have had my eyes checked thoroughly by various opticians and doctors but just cannot seem to stop doing it. Stopping smoker was much easier! Can anyone suggest mental exercises or anything else to help?
Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
1. See an Eye MD ophthalmologist to be sure you do not have an eye problem that would cause irritation nor that you have done any damage to your eyes.

2. See a psychiatrist that specilizes in obscessive compusive diease.

JCH III MD
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
his is EXACTLY what I do.. 100%. I keep a mirror in my purse to do it at work, getting ready in the morning takes forever because I sit in front of the mirror for at LEAST 30 minute doing this. There always feels like theres "more" in my eye so I cant seem to step away..

Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
This is called "mucus fishing" and almost always more of a psychological problem than a physiological eye problem.

JCH MD
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Wow.  Never heard of 'mucus fishing' before.  

"There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
(Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167)
Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
"Be fishers of fish not fishers of mucus"
Dr. Hagan 12/22/11

Reference:  http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4058886

Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I have a corneal condition called keraconosis, I've been told that because my corneas are misshapen they are constantly itching my eyelids. This condition also produces a lot of mucus. I wake up with my eyelids shut close from all the mucus. Rubbing my eyes may cause my condition to worsen. I would like to find a way to stop the itchiness,
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My son has been pushing on his eyes for 17 years.  He thinks it is a result of quitting a psychiatric medication for three months as he had a some panic attacks.  My ex-husband and I agreed on one thing and we told him "if, for some reason you ever want to quit taking a medication, you need to talk with your doctor."  I have suggested that when he gets up in the morning to take a white wash cloth (it has no dyes in it) and put warm water on it and go from the corner of the eye to the outside of each eye and then to wash it out and lie with it on his bed to soothe his eyes.  Also, he has used stress balls to keep his hands busy. I have also suggested that he put his hand over his eye as that makes a "cup" over the eye and is soothing.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My son has been pushing on his eyes for 17 years.  He thinks it is a result of quitting a psychiatric medication for three months as he had a some panic attacks.  My ex-husband and I agreed on one thing and we told him "if, for some reason you ever want to quit taking a medication, you need to talk with your doctor."  I have suggested that when he gets up in the morning to take a white wash cloth (it has no dyes in it) and put warm water on it and go from the corner of the eye to the outside of each eye and then to wash it out and lie with it on his bed to soothe his eyes.  Also, he has used stress balls to keep his hands busy. I have also suggested that he put his hand over his eye as that makes a "cup" over the eye and is soothing.  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I'm 17 and I have this exact same problem, I thought it was something to do with self confidence because I find it really hard to make eye contact with people, often find myself touching a part of my eye or trying to clean it out more so when I'm nervous but now I find I do it ALLL the time and I'm literally incapable of stopping.
I am a photographer, and I've noticed that it's getting harder to concentrate, such as to look into the view finder is almost painful and focusing correctly... And tiredness, most of the time.
I'd love to know if this problem has a name, and if I should go to the doctors for it.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11712630

Washing your hands often helps as well as drops in the eyes and keeping your face really clean, but it does feel like a psychological issue, see link above.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
i have the same problem, and i had a friend who did it to and we always thought it was so weird and why in the world would you pick your eye, and then one night about 4 years ago i had gotten pencil shavings in my eye, and i was rubbing it and splashing so much water in them to get it out that they got irritated i guess and caused them to form that stringy mucus or whatever, and every since then it happens to me everyday, and i miss alot of work, because of it, i am also A.D.D and i take adderall (adderrall), and some times i dont touch them at all, but other times, its seems to happen when i didnt sleep or i keep my eyes focused for so long, they feel tired, or my vision gets blurry, and then it starts, from then on i sit with a mirror and pick, and pick, and they get so red, sore swollen. and i know it makes it worst, and the whole time im doing it, i tell myself stop and that if i stopped they would feel better, and im just making it worst, and the after effect, its humiliating, i have had to go to work with my eyes so red and the mucus constantly forming making it blurry, and you can see my finger marks on my cheek from holding my eye open for so long, You would think that would be enough to make me stop, but its so annoying the feeling like something is in my eye, or how it gets blurry and i know the stringy stuff is moving around. some nights its not so bad where i dont do it or do it as much and then other times, its for hours, and there been times were my fiance woke me up and said i was sitting up picking my eyes, he thought i was awake, i was sleeping! and when i woke up my whole face was puffy, and my eyes were so swollen and crusted shut, and it hurts so bad, that only happened twice, but it scares me, and why cant i stop? i have even soaked my hands in cleaner, lotion, wore gloves around the house, and nothing, works i have told my fiance it got to be a phyc issue and wanted to get help, but cant have another bill, and he just says will power, (even tho he sees the damage after i been sitting in front of a mirror for hours) i have tried every eye drop out there, and nothing helps, or it will for a min and then it like creates more, or it burns, and makes it worst. Well thats my story,i have done a little research on "mucus fishing" but nothing has helped me stop yet,
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Ever since I was a child I rubbed my eyes. I lived in New York City and there was a lot of dirt floating around and that is where my problems started. I simply found comfort rubbing my eyes. The habit or ocd took over my life and it needed to stop. I noticed that when I had stopped which was not that hard to do initially, I physically felt better, maybe bacteria was in my body due to this practice. The experts say ocd is not that hard to quit if you just practice stopping and that you have to want to quit like any habit. I found that stress causes me to return to this unhealthy habit. For me the removal of goop seems to have an enjoyable feel to it. I think using drops only soothes the red eye associated with over rubbing and that is it. This cannot cure the problem due to the fact that it is a psycological disorder. People find comfort in cleaning, one woman told me that it relieves stress but it was ocd that flourished with her. In short, you just have to want to quit and it should be easy to do if you practice.
Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Eye Care Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Eye Care Answerers
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
flossy93
CA
10949559_tn?1414054405
Blank
LisaTaylor
Mississauga, ON
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
KayakerNC
NC
Avatar_m_tn
Blank
etrader
United Kingdom
344352_tn?1404490466
Blank
cristina1676
Lyndhurst, NJ