May 5 is World Hand Hygiene Day, the perfect reminder that keeping your hands clean can keep your vision healthy. While hand hygiene came to the forefront last year with the pandemic, eye care providers have been stressing hand hygiene for years! While COVID-19 is one reason you should avoid touching your eyes and wash your hands well, there are many others. Read on to learn more!
Throughout the day, you likely touch your eyes more than you realize. A study from the American Journal of Infection Control showed that people touch their faces up to 23 times per hour—27% of the time involving their eyes. However, every time you rub, touch, scratch, or wipe your eyes, it’s not just your fingers or hands coming into contact with your eye. It’s also potentially harmful bacteria. This can easily lead to infections, like conjunctivitis.
For better health, wash your hands before doing anything involving your eyes, like applying makeup or using eye drops. Then, keep your hands clean throughout the day in case you tend to touch your face and they come in contact with your eyes without you thinking.
Though millions of people wear contact lenses, up to 99% of them will occasionally care for or wear contact lenses improperly. This includes using dirty hands to insert and remove contacts. If you put on your contacts with dirty hands, you can trap bacteria near your eyes—even if you did properly clean the lenses with solution beforehand. Remember: contacts are medical devices that require compliance to function safely. So, keep those hands clean!
In the spring, you may be suffering from seasonal allergies like millions of Americans. While sneezing and runny noses are common symptoms, itchy, watery eyes and blurred vision are also common. If you have eye allergy symptoms from pollen, dust, or dander, hand washing is a must. If you have been outside, wash your hands! Dealing with pet allergies? Wash them every time you come into contact with those animals. Keeping as many allergens off your hands and away from your face as possible can help ensure that your eyes are comfortable, clear, and symptom free.
We hope you celebrate World Hand Hygiene Day with excellent hand washing. Remember, good hand washing means cleaning under your nails, between fingers, and on the top and bottom of your hands for 20 seconds or longer. Your eyes will thank you! Have questions about how to care for your eyes? Are you ready for an appointment with our Better Vision New Jersey team? Call us today—we hope to see you soon!