These Bad Habits Could Be Increasing Your Risk for Eye Infections

Eye infections are painful, not to mention unsightly. From the itching, oozing, and swelling of conjunctivitis (pink eye) to the painful discomfort of a stye, eye infections can cause irritation, embarrassment, and even affect your vision.

The more common eye infections are viral — think about how quickly conjunctivitis spreads among children — or bacterial. Rarely is an infection of the eye fungal, but it can happen. Eye infections are treatable, but most are often easily preventable by eliminating some bad habits that may have crept into your daily routine.

Call it laziness, preoccupation, or simply not knowing the consequences, but bad habits can lead to days, weeks, and sometimes months, of dealing with infections in one or both eyes. Simply being aware of these common bad habits can help you avoid the pain and embarrassment of an eye infection.

Not washing your hands

You’d think by now it would be commonplace to wash your hands after using the restroom, shaking hands, coming into contact with a public surface, and the like. Grocery carts, door handles, and even your four-legged best buddy can carry dirt and germs.

Touching these surfaces and others and then touching your eye area can lead to those germs getting into your eye. Avoid infections, colds, and other viral issues with good handwashing  habits. Keep hand sanitizer handy for those times when soap and water aren’t accessible. And always wash your hands prior to handling your contact lenses.

Rubbing your eyes

You’ve been staring at a computer screen or driving for hours, or perhaps you’re just tired — without really thinking about it, you rub your eyes. Not only does this irritate the delicate tissue in and around your eyes, but it can introduce germs and bacteria.

The next time you feel the need to rub your eyes, stop. Walk away from the computer screen for a few minutes, or invest in computer glasses to ease eye strain Pull off the road for a bit. Splash some clean, cool water on your face and gently pat it away.

Using expired, or borrowed eye makeup

Expired mascara, eyeliner, eyeshadow, and the like have expiration dates for a reason. If you can’t remember the last time you replaced your eye makeup, please do so. Replace mascara every 3-5 months and eyeliner every few years. Update your eyeshadow, concealer, and foundation every two years a most.

Never, ever borrow makeup from someone. This invites germs and bacteria into your eyes, and theirs.

Not taking precautions after a diagnosis

If you’ve been diagnosed with an eye infection, toss all of your eye makeup to avoid reinfecting yourself. Launder the bedding you’ve been using, as well as any towels, washcloths, and sleep masks. Get new contact lenses and replace your contact case.

Not wearing safety goggles

Whether you’re doing yard work, using harsh chemicals, or tending to repairs on your to-do list, always wear your safety glasses. Sure, they’re funny-looking, hot, and maybe not that comfortable, but they prevent eye injury.


Small debris, or harmful chemicals can easily land in your eye and cause irritation, which can become infected. It’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Skipping your annual eye exam

Keeping your eyes healthy, and infection-free, begins with your annual eye exam. If it’s been a year or more since your last visit to the eye doctor, contact A+ Vision Optometry in Ladera Ranch, California.

Dr. Monique Nguyen and her support staff care about your eyes. Prevent infections and other conditions of the eye before serious complications arise by scheduling an eye exam with us today.

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