Did you know that you could avoid certain eye problems by simply not touching your eyes? This can actually be something that is pretty hard to do if you have allergies, you’re sick, or you’ve been crying, as it’s natural to touch or wipe the eyes. However, that simple touch can transfer bacteria that leads to eye infections. Find out the most common ways this happens and some tips to avoid problems with your eyes!
Many infections can happen with your eyes and they generally start out with a bacteria coming in contact with your eye. Red eyes is a common first sign. The most common cause of red eyes include:
As you can see, many things can be causing your eyes to turn red. However, you can rule out some of these causes if you know your red eyes are caused by something you did. If you don’t get enough sleep, your eyes might be puffy and red. If you swim without goggles on, the chemicals (such as chlorine) in the water can irritate the tissues of your eyes, turning them a red color.
With red eyes from lack of sleep or other causes, you may not even notice a difference in how your eyes feel. Eye infections most commonly cause pain, eye discharge, dry or watery eyes, light sensitivity, inflammation and swelling, itching or blurry vision. The most common eye infection to show these symptoms is Conjunctivitis.
There are some eye infections that can worsen very quickly without help. One of those is Conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye”. Pink eye is when the conjunctiva part of your eye—which is the clear tissue that lies your eyelid and the outside of your eye—becomes inflamed. This condition gives your eye a pinkish-red color all over. Patients with this condition will have symptoms such as red eyes, increased tears, eye discharge in varying colors, and crusting of that discharge. Some patients feel a gritty feeling in their eyes or they feel itchy, irritated and burn.
Pink eye is caused by allergens, irritants (such as chlorine), but more commonly by bacteria and viruses. You can easily spread pink eye to other people, especially if you share makeup or touch your eyes and then other things. That is how the bacteria or virus is spread and it can happen with one touch. If you ever have eye discharge, call us right away. There are different types of conjunctivitis, so treatment will vary depending on the patient, which is why you need help from an eye doctor.
Not washing your hands is sure to guarantee you an illness or eye infection at some point. Most viruses are spread through touching bacteria that was on another person. Common places are public (or even private) bathrooms, water fountains, shopping carts, door handles, toys, handrails, tabletops and similar areas. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports handwashing is critical to avoiding disease and illness. It can prevent colds by at least 21% and intestinal issues 40-58%. That’s because it helps get rid of germs that will make you sick. Those are the same germs that will cause eye infections.
To avoid eye infections:
If you notice a problem with your eye, don’t wait for it to get worse. Redness, especially when it is accompanied by discharge or pus is something you want to get checked out immediately. Any eye injury or chemical that comes in contact with the eye is also another reason you want to get your eyes checked out. Failure to see a doctor can result in permanent vision loss in some patients if what they have is serious.
When you have eye issues, schedule an eye exam. Eye doctors (known as ophthalmologists) have received at least 10 years of training in keeping your eyes healthy. During eye exams, they can notice the smallest eye changes that signal the start of a vision condition or disease. For emergency appointments, they can get most (if not all) infections under control within the first day or so. The delicate equipment found in an ophthalmologist’s office can detect the slightest changes, cuts or spots of infection in your eye. They can also see inside your eye in order to detect problems with your tissues, blood vessels, swelling, inflammation and more.
Eye exams can involve any of more than 100 different eye tests. There will be a test to detect the specific problem with your eye and a way to treat it. When you start to the see the signs of eye infections, call our office right away. If you want to prevent eye infections in the first place, make sure you wash your hands, don’t touch your face and don’t share facial products with others. For extra information about eye infections and conditions, call Peeper’s Optical today at (303) 333-2800!