Eye health is essential, but unfortunately, eye infections are a common problem with uncomfortable or inconvenient symptoms like pain, swelling, redness, discharge, and increased sensitivity to light. Many of these eye problems are avoidable. Here are ten tips on how to keep your eyes as healthy as possible, which include avoiding eye infections.
1- Wash Your Hands Frequently
The best way to limit the spread of bacteria, viruses, and fungal spores around your body is to wash your hands frequently using soap and water for at least half a minute to cleanse them of harmful agents.
Bacteria on the hands can also lead to eye diseases, such as corneal ulcers or conjunctivitis. So, always wash your hands before eating a meal, preparing food, dispensing medicine, inserting or removing contact lenses, or touching the eye in any way.
2- Avoid Touching and Rubbing Your Eyes
Even if you wash your hands regularly, your hands are still the most likely agents to spread infections because our hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses, so it will be better to keep them away from your eyes and delicate eyeball area as much as possible to prevent eye infection.
Talk to your doctor if you have itchy eyes due to allergy. They can recommend specific types of eye drops to reduce irritation and eye rubbing.
3- Clean Your Contact Lenses Regularly
Practicing good hygiene is essential when it comes to contact lenses. If you use contacts, you should abide by proper contact lens hygiene. Contact lenses touch your eye surface, so keeping them free of bacteria, fungi, and viruses is crucial in preventing eye infections.
Ways to Clean Contact Lenses
- Wash your hands with soap and water
- Use fresh contact lens cleaning solution each time you clean your lenses
- Gently rub your contact lenses with your fingertips, and rinse them using a fresh cleaning solution afterward.
- Rinse your contact lens case with the new solution, and leave it overturned and open to dry.
4- Never Share Your Eye Makeup or Products
Sharing specific eye makeup and products can increase the risk of developing an eye infection — especially if you are sharing makeup brushes/tools, face towels, or sunglasses. To prevent eye infections, you must refrain from sharing your eye or facial makeup brushes and dispose of products once they exceed expiration dates.
5- Keep the Eye Area Clean
The skin around the eyes is crucial for eye health. Thus, ensure to provide attention to combat eye infections.
How to keep the eye area clean
- Use damp cotton or a clean, wet cloth to remove the crust.
- Start wiping from the inside corner of the eye and move towards the outer corner.
- Make sure to use a clean part of the cloth for each wipe.
- Put cold or warm wet clothes on your eye a few times a day if the eye hurts.
6- Make Healthy Lifestyle Choices
Most eye infections clear up on their own with your diligent immune system. It is said that the weaker your immune system is, the more likely you are to develop an infection or to suffer for longer than necessary. Making healthy lifestyle choices, including eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, and adequate sleep daily, goes a long way towards avoiding eye infections and diseases.
7- Wash Your Eyes properly after Swimming
Getting water in your eyes from lakes or rivers can cause an infection due to microscopic organisms. If you are a swimmer or enjoy swimming in other water activities, you must flush your eyes after swimming. You can use filtered water or a saline solution to reduce your risk of eye infection.
8- Don’t Sleep with Contact Lenses
Like your body, your eyes also need rest and a break, and sleeping with contact lenses means more time for the eye to be exposed to any potential infection carrier on the lens. In addition, contact lenses can irritate the eyes, which can cause redness, and the more irritated your eyes are, the more vulnerable they are to infection.
9- Protect Your Eyes From Mold and Other Allergens
Allergies cause eye inflammation and irritation, which makes the eyes more likely to become infected. Try to avoid exposure to mold and other allergens by:
- Consider wearing eyeglasses and avoiding contact with allergens or during the peak of allergy season.
- Wearing safety goggles is essential when engaging in strenuous activities or tasks that can generate airborne allergens.
- Installing a whole-home filtration system
- Vacuuming and dusting regularly
- Washing your hands regular
- Avoid rubbing your eyes
10- Consult With Your Doctor If Required
If you are suffering from an eye infection, it is advisable to consult with a skilled and experienced doctor for eye treatment. Remember, delaying treatment might make the duration or severity of your symptoms worse and potentially lead to vision loss or eye damage.
If you’re concerned about your risk of eye infections or facing symptoms you’d like to have checked by an eye doctor, consult today for timely treatment. While there are over-the-counter medicines for eye infections, achieving effective results requires professional guidance.