May 5th is Global Hand Hygiene Day, and that means you should be thinking about what hand sanitation has to do with eye care!
Our hands are wonderful tools, but they’re also one of the most common ways for diseases to be transmitted, including diseases of the eye. Virtually any time you rub your eyes, you’re potentially introducing microbes into them which can damage your ocular health.
So, it’s important to always wash your sterilize your hands before touching your eyes, or you could accidentally catch some serious diseases.
Proper Eye Care: Touch-Based Diseases You Can Avoid
1 – Conjunctivitis: Better known as “pinkeye,” conjunctivitis is generally caused by viruses that move freely between eyes and fingers. While it does no lasting harm, a pink eye infection causes 1-2 weeks of considerable discomfort with no remedy other than time.
2 – Staphylococcus aureus: This is the “staph” in “staph infection.” Staphylococcus aureus is at the root of numerous diseases of the body, including the eyes. It can cause inflamed and itchy eyelids if left untreated.
3 – Ocular Toxoplasmosis: This common eye infection is caused by microbes that live in the bodies of cats, and transmit easily to humans. It attacks the back of the eye, and reduces vision – potentially permanently, if left untreated.
4 – Ocular herpes: The herpes simplex virus can attack the eye and eyelid in the same way it attacks other areas of the body, including painful sores on the eyeball itself. Someone who has cold sores (oral herpes) needs to be especially careful and sanitize their hands often, to prevent it from jumping from the mouth to the eye.
5 – Acanthamoeba Keratitis: This amoeba can infect the eyes of contact lens wearers, causing painful swelling or even permanent damage to the cornea. Since it lives in common tap water, this demonstrates why antiseptic hand sanitation is so important.
Good Eye Care Begins With Hand Hygiene
Your eyes are one of your most valuable parts of your body. Don’t risk introducing painful – or blinding – diseases by rubbing your eyes with dirty fingers. Keeping your hands sanitized will make your ongoing eye care much easier!