How to Avoid an Eye Infection


Many types of eye infections are spread easily from person to person. If you have an eye infection or must be around someone with an eye infection use these tips to help you avoid spreading it.


  • Wash hands thoroughly and often; this is the most important and effective way to prevent the spread of pink eye to others.
    Avoid touching your face and eyes; if you must apply medicine or make-up to the area around your eyes, wash your hands before and after the application.
  • Avoid eye make-up if so directed by your eye doctor; do not share eye make-up.
  • Do not share towels, wash cloths, pillows, or other linens; use clean linens daily.
  • If infected, do not wear contact lenses and also clean and disinfect lenses and storage case thoroughly before using again and try to learn more about cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses.
  • Do not share contact lenses or accessories.
  • Do not share eye medicine and talk with your eye doctor about discarding or storing leftover medicines.
  • Always protect your eyes in windy, hot, dusty, or otherwise harsh environments.
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles when around chemicals.
  • If you touch someone else’s eye, wear gloves or wash your hands before and after.
  • Report any negative changes or new symptoms to your eye doctor immediately so that you can prevent eye infection.


Eye Infection Treatments

Fortunately, most common bacterial eye infections clear up, particularly with prompt treatment such as prescription antibiotic eye drops or ointments and compresses. Many common viral eye infections resolve on their own. In cases of severe viral eye infections, an antiviral eye drop may be prescribed. Some viral eye infections require careful administration of steroid eye drops to reduce related inflammation. Depending on the underlying cause of your eye infection, your doctor also may prescribe antibiotics or antiviral medications that are taken orally. If your symptoms worsen or change, contact your eye doctor immediately.


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