Treating and Preventing Eye Disease
Preventing Eye Infections
Eye infections are conditions which affect people of all ages, commonly caused by viruses, bacteria, fungi, or parasites. Without treatment, even common and benign infections may progress to a point where they are capable of permanently damaging your vision. By following a basic eye care regimen, you can effectively prevent harmful infections. If you suspect that you may have an eye infection, make an appointment with a certified eye care specialist to receive a professional diagnosis. The earlier the infection is diagnosed, the better the chances for a full recovery.
There are many different types of eye infections, each with different causes and different symptoms. The eye is a sensitive organ which comes into contact with pathogens on a daily basis. Eye infections may also develop after trauma, surgeries, or when your immune system is weakened by a virus or disease that isn’t directly related to the eyes. Because your eyes are vulnerable, it’s important to remain proactive. Follow these basic eye infection prevention tips to avoid common conditions such as conjunctivitis (pink eye), blepharitis, and styes.
Eye Infection Prevention Tips
Eye infections are most commonly spread when you come into contact with the drainage of an infected eye. If you rub or touch your eyes after coming into contact with drainage, the infection is easily passed along. To prevent this from happening, maintain good hygiene at all times, especially if someone you know is currently suffering from an infection.
- Wash your hands on a daily basis, especially before touching your eyes, putting in contact lenses, or taking eye medicines.
- Do not share eye makeup with anyone.
- Thoroughly clean your lenses before you put them back in your eyes. Avoid “topping up” solution instead of replacing it.
- If your eye infection was caused by bacteria, throw away an eye makeup you were using prior to the infection and purchase new products. Do not use eye makeup until your eye infection is completely healed, otherwise you risk re-infecting the eye.
- Do not share contact lenses, lens solution, cases, or cleaning products with anyone.
- If you experience an infection, remove your contact lenses until it heals. When you are ready to put them back in, make sure to clean them thoroughly and purchase a new contact case to avoid re-infection.
- Use only clean linens, towels, and washcloths, and avoid sharing these items whenever possible.
- If you are helping someone else to apply eye medicine or find an irritant in their eye, make sure to wear protective gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after contact.
- Avoid unnecessary irritation by wearing glasses in inclement weather, especially when it is windy, cold, or hot.
- Make sure to wear safety glasses in all environments that require them, especially when working with chemicals.
Many of the most common eye infections are treated by medicated eye drops or oral antibiotics. The course of treatment will depend upon the infection you have contracted, and should be coordinated by an experienced professional who will be able to save you time, discomfort, and money. However, by following these simple guidelines, you can dramatically reduce the risk of infection in the first place. Preventative measures now are preferable to damage control later on!
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