As it is with pesky infections, many types of eye infections can easily be spread from person to person. To protect yourself and your loved ones this winter, be sure to follow these tips. First of all, we cannot stress how important it is to thoroughly wash your hands! Wash your hands before touch your eyes or eyelids and especially before handling contact lenses. This is something that should be stressed to children so that it becomes habit for them.
If you are near a person that has a red eye, it can be a warning sign and you should avoid contact with your face and eyes until you wash your hands first. You can minimize the likelihood of catching common bacterial or viral eye infections by using anti-infective sprays and cleaners liberally in public areas or areas that may have been infected. Better safe than sorry! If any family members have a red eye or have a diagnosed infection, clean their bedding, pillows, and towels daily. Do not share linens with someone who has an infection. It is a good idea to wash the infected person’s linens after each time they use them. Be sure that your family members are washing their hands often.
You should definitely avoid wearing contact lenses and eye makeup if you are infected. Be sure to avoid sharing makeup or makeup tools with a potentially infected person. Another tip is to avoid sleeping in contact lenses, even if they are breathable FDA-approved type for overnight wear. Unfortunately, sleeping in your contacts significantly increases the risk of eye infections.
We’ll say it again: don’t forget to wash your hands often!
Read more about preventing eye infections and types of infections at the American Optometric Association.