3 Great Tips for Preventing Eye Infections

Almost a million Americans experience eye infections every year. Eye infections occur when a virus, a fungus, or bacteria get into your eye. These microorganisms can invade any part of your eye. They can affect one or both eyes. In most cases, eye infections are easy to treat and easy to prevent.

If you suspect you have an eye infection, you should make an appointment with an eye doctor right away for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. At Clarity Vision Care, we have the experience and skill to diagnose and treat eye infections. Here’s what we think you need to know to avoid this common but uncomfortable condition.

Common eye infections

Most eye infections are related to wearing contact lenses. Some eye infections are contagious, and some are not. Here’s a rundown of the most common eye infections and what you need to know about them:

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis, commonly called pinkeye, is the result of an infection of the conjunctiva, which is a thin film that covers the white part of the eyeball. Pinkeye is common in children and very contagious. Symptoms include pink, watery eyes that itch and that may also have crust or pus that covers the eye.

Stye

When the oil glands in your eyelids or eyelashes get infected with bacteria from your skin, it can result in the development of painful, red bumps called styes under your eyelid or along your eyelashes.

Keratitis

This type of eye infection is common for contact lens wearers. It occurs when bacteria, viruses, or parasites in water come in contact with your eye and infect your cornea, the dome-shaped layer that covers the front of your eye. Symptoms include eye pain, redness, and blurred vision.

What you need to do to prevent eye infections

Fortunately, you can avoid most eye infections by following good hygiene practices, such as:

Wash your hands

You should always wash your hands before touching your face, especially your eyes. By doing so, you can eliminate most viruses, bacteria, and fungi from entering your eyes. If you can’t get to a sink when you need to, just avoid touching your eyes until you can wash your hands thoroughly.

Follow instructions for care and cleaning of your contact lenses

Whether you wear daily lenses or extended-wear lenses, you should follow the care and cleaning instructions that your eye doctor gave you and that the lens cleaning solution manufacturer suggests. Following the care and cleaning directions can help you to avoid common eye infections caused by improper care of contact lenses.

Wash the bedding and towels of anyone with an eye infection

Since conjunctivitis is very contagious, beware if someone in your household has it. Wash all linens, towels, and clothing that the infected person has touched.

Certain eye infections — such as uveitis, which is linked to inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis and lupus — and eye conditions that are common for people with diabetes can’t be avoided by washing your hands. But managing your diabetes, arthritis, and other health conditions can help you minimize your risk for other eye conditions connected to your health problem.

For more information about preventing and treating eye infections, call Dr. Hieu Huynh at Clarity Vision Care in Richardson, Texas, or make an appointment online. 

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