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10 Tips for Avoiding Eye Infections

Eye infections can present with uncomfortable or inconvenient symptoms, like redness, pain, discharge, and increased sensitivity to light. If you have an eye infection, harmful bacteria, viruses, or fungi invade your eyeball area, causing discomfort and reactions. At Smart Eye Care in Brooklyn, New York, our team can help you resolve the symptoms of your eye infections — but we also suggest you follow these 10 tips to keep from contracting eye infections in the first place.

1. Wash your hands

The best way to limit the spread of viruses, bacteria, and fungal spores around your body is to wash your hands frequently and thoroughly. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to cleanse them of harmful agents.

2. Don’t touch your eyes

Even if you wash your hands frequently, your fingers are still the most likely agents to spread infections, so keep them away from your eyes and delicate eyeball area as much as possible.

3. Clean your contact lenses

Contact lenses touch your eye surface, so keeping them free of bacteria, viruses, and fungi is key to preventing eye infections. Always wash your hands before inserting or removing your contact lenses, and clean and store them according to instructions.

4. Don’t share makeup brushes

Harmful bacteria or fungus can hop a ride from one person to another on the end of a makeup brush, or live in an old cosmetic container. If you want to avoid eye infections, never share your eye or facial makeup brushes, and throw out products past their expiration dates.

5. Pay attention to pink eye

Pink eye, or conjunctivitis, commonly spreads among young children. If you have school- or daycare-aged children, watch out for pink eye outbreaks, and seek prompt treatment if you think you or your child might have pink eye.

6. Watch out for injuries

Whenever the surface of your eye is damaged, harmful infections can enter. Fungal infections can result from a penetrating injury from a tree branch. Any injury to your eyes could lead to infection without correct cleaning and care.

7. Eliminate pests

Without good personal and social sanitation, flies can become a major vector for eye infections. Flies spread trachoma, which causes scarring on the inner eyelid that can eventually lead to blindness. Keep pest populations down with good hygiene, and seek antibiotic treatment for infected eyes right away.

8. Maintain mold-free environments

Mold particles can penetrate your eyes and lead to infections, so watch out for fungi problems indoors, in addition to outside.

9. Take a break from your contacts

Even contact lenses that have been approved by the FDA for overnight wear can significantly increase your risk of eye infections if you keep them in every night. To prevent eye infections, take out and clean your contacts regularly, and sleep without them at least some of the time.

10. Go to the doctor when you need to

If you think you might have an eye infection, visit Smart Eye Care for prompt treatment. Delaying treatment of an eye infection might make the duration or severity of your symptoms worse, and potentially lead to lasting damage to your vision.

If you’re concerned about your risk of eye infections or have symptoms you’d like to have checked by a doctor, contact Smart Eye Care today. Our expert care team, led by Edward Rubinchik, MD, Evelyn Icasiano, MD, Leon Aleksandrovich, MD and William Kestin, MD, can diagnose your condition and recommend the right treatment options for you. While some over-the-counter products are available for eye infections, you’ll see the best results with professional guidance. You can schedule your appointment at our Brooklyn, New York offices over the phone, or by using the online tool.

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