If you found out the chief cause of eye diseases among most of the population today, would you ignore your findings? If you would do something about it, then you need to start washing your hands more often. The simplest way of curbing contamination is through the washing of hands. If everyone were to practice proper hygiene measures, most infections, including eye infections, would be history.
Most of the viral, fungal, and bacterial infections that affect the eyes result from microorganisms in contaminated water and dirt. Therefore, it is possible to reduce and eliminate such infections through proper hygiene. Hygiene can reduce pink eye patients from the current three million every year today to much lower numbers.
Handwashing Trends Among Americans According to the CDC
Only close to half of all Americans clean their hands after sneezing or coughing. A third hardly wash their hands before having lunch and almost half of all men and a quarter of women who visit the restroom fail to wash their hands. Yet handwashing is so easy and only requires water and soap. If you do not want to use water, a proper alcohol-based hand sanitizer will do.
Importance of Washing Hands Frequently
People collect germs and dirt primarily with their hands throughout the day. When these germs get to the eyes, the nose, or the mouth, they increase the chances of sickness or possible infections. Therefore, if you would wash your hands frequently throughout the day, it would be possible to avoid eye diseases and infections. Such include corneal ulcers and conjunctivitis. Before inserting or removing contact lenses, removing an eyelash or dust from your eye, please wash your hands. Also, before dispensing medicine, treating a wound, or preparing food, please wash your hands properly.
Relationship Between Hygiene and Eye Health
Though everyone should follow hygiene and handwashing measures, people who wear contact lenses should be extra careful. Also, people with the habit of touching their eyes with their hands should also wash their hands before touching their eyes.
Hands cause microbes to attach to eyelids, the ocular surface, and contact lenses. Proper cleaning should minimize the transfer. Therefore, contact lens wearers should either use gloves when wearing the lenses or disinfect their fingers appropriately before handling them.
Common organisms that can lead to infection include adenoviruses, gram-negative bacilli, fungi, and herpes simplex. The complications that can result from these, especially after an eye has gone through cataract surgery are very high risk. However, controlling these would only require an individual to wash his or her hands properly. Contact lens wearers, as well as most people out there, must know that their eye health is literally in their hands.
Proper Handwashing Procedure
Proper handwashing requires an individual to do the following:
- Wet the hands and then dispense the soap on the palms. Scrub the hands until the production of foam.
- Scrub the back, wrist, every finger, and under the fingernails for not less than 10 seconds.
- Rinse the soap off thoroughly.
- Dry the hands-off with a clean cloth and turn off the water with a clean towel.
- In the absence of soap and water, use hand sanitizers with not less than 60 percent alcohol content.
If you need to know more about hygiene and the importance of washing your hands for eye health, come to Abraham Eye Associates. To schedule an appointment, call us at (484) 209-0800, or visit our offices in Villanova, Pennsylvania.