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How Can You Prevent an Eye Infection?

Image of hand holding a contact lens.

Do your eyes feel swollen, itchy or watery? If so, you might want to book an appointment with your eye doctor to have your eyes examined. Although many people automatically attribute their discomfort to allergies, it’s important to leave the diagnosis to a trained professional that is knowledgeable about eye health.

Often, the true cause of a person’s eye irritation is an eye infection. Eye infections are extremely common and can affect any part of the eye — from the eyelids to the retinas. While there are many different types of infections that can affect our eyes, each one can be categorized as fungal, bacterial or viral. Eye infections can range from pink eye (conjunctivitis), the inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye, to blepharitis, an inflammation of the eyelid that is often associated with an infection.

What Can Cause an Eye Infection?

Contact Lenses

Contact lenses are an excellent alternative to eyeglasses, but they can also cause infections if you do not maintain a strict hygiene routine. This is because contact lenses restrict the amount of oxygen that reaches your corneas, transforming the eye area into a potential breeding ground for bacterial or fungal buildup. However, practicing good ocular hygiene habits helps ensure that your eyes receive a sufficient amount of oxygen, bolstering their ability to stave off infection.

Ways you can decrease your chance of developing an eye infection due to contact lens use include:

  • Washing your hands before placing a contact lens on your eye.
  • Removing your contacts immediately if one (or both) of your eyes becomes red or irritated.
  • Always disposing used lenses into the garbage, if you use daily-wear contact lenses. Do not reuse them.
  • Always placing weekly- or monthly-use contact lenses in contact lens solution for the recommended amount of time, to remove bacteria from the lens. Once their allotted time is up, dispose them immediately and replace them with a fresh set.

Sharing Eye Makeup

Another potential cause of infection is using old or borrowed makeup. While keeping your old mascara can save you money, it can also increase your chance of getting an eye infection. Human eyelashes naturally have bacteria on them, which are transferred into your mascara tube with each use. Using old mascara from a tube that has been sitting for a long period of time increases your chance of getting an eye infection, because very little oxygen has been introduced into the old tube over time, contributing to the potential buildup of bacteria.

Borrowing someone else’s makeup can also transfer bacteria. That is why, in addition to replacing old makeup within a reasonable time frame, it is highly recommended that individuals refrain from sharing makeup.

To help prevent an eye infection due to makeup use, you should:

  • Replace old makeup within the manufacturer’s recommended time frame.
  • Avoid sharing any of your cosmetics with friends or family.
  • Always wash your hands before applying makeup on or around the eye.
  • Avoid using sample products at any retail location. Many individuals apply these cosmetics directly on their face, increasing the risk of spreading bacteria.

Questions?

If you suffer from eye irritation, discuss the problem with your eye doctor right away. Your physician can treat your eye condition as well as share additional ways to prevent future eye infections.

Resources:

http://www.eyehealthweb.com/eye-infections/

http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=724

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Reviews By Our Satisfied Clients

  • "Had my annual eye exam this morning at Lake Lanier Eye Care. I elected to have all the tests and afterwards,Dr. Bordner reveiwed them indificually with me and reported that my vision was really good! Excellent experience with Amy, Diane and Dr. Brett Bordner, OD."
    Cheryl Carr / Facebook Review
  • "My visit to Lake Lanier Eye Care was pleasant and painless. From start to finish, the staff there exemplifies excellence and professionalism and has made a visit to the optometrist’s office an experience I look forward to rather than hope to avoid."
    Ashlee S. / Google Review
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    Allison Fuller / Google Review
  • "Dr. Brett Bordner is fantastic! He is very patient and spends a lot of time with each and every person and explains everything he does. He makes you feel valued and very comfortable throughout the appointment. Highly recommended!"
    Sarah Clark / Google Review
  • "his was an amazing experience. The staff is extremely professional and the doctor was very knowledgeable. I highly recommend them!!!!"
    Laura Milum / Google Review
  • "My husband and I came to Lake Lanier Eye Care because the people are extremely friendly. We came in on our scheduled time and were completely done in 20 minutes! The service, cost and location are TOP NOTCH!
    Check out the Daytona Imaging. The service they provide with this imaging tops any dilation I have ever had. If you need help, call! They are ready to answer any question."
    Hayley Bean / Google Review
  • "The staff at Lake Lanier go all in. They are friendly from the moment they pick up the phone to the moment you walk out. My wife and I were excited to meet them the minute we called and couldn’t wait to get in! I highly recommend getting the Daytona Imaging. It is interesting to see your eye AND you don’t need dilation! Win, win!
    Conveniently located in Costco, so get you’re shopping done right after. You’ll be able to see what you’re getting then!"
    Cayce Koehler / Google Review
  • "Dr. Brett and his staff are very nice and extremely helpful. Easy and quick appointment. I highly recommend theake Lanier Eyecare at Costco in Cumming"
    Roella Day / Google Review
  • "Took care of an eye infection and very professional in my treatment."
    Ronald Swanson / Google Review
  • "My whole family uses this practice. Convenient location, great office staff, late day appointments and weekends too make this the perfect eye care facility for us."
    Bekki Davis / Google Review
  • "Staff is so nice & helping. Occulist was very nice & knowledgable . Felt very relaxed after mine eye check up."
    shweta feb / Google Review
  • "I was struggling with wearing glasses and contacts so Dr. Brett suggested I try Ortho K. After a short time period my vision was 20/20 and I no longer needed my glasses or contacts during the day. He was knowledgeable and took the time to explain the process making it a far more comfortable experience."
    Melody Million / Google Review
  • "I was blown away by this practice. The doctor & all the people there are so, so kind. Also, their equipment was really awesome. I feel like over the years I haven’t been getting the best exams as this equipment was far superior to other places. I was really amazed by it & the huge difference in my eye sight in one year leads me to believe that is obvious to be true.
    Also, I had been in a really bad car accident where I hit the windshield & has 2 dark black eyes. It was a coincidence that I needed a new prescription for my contacts. Having them exam my eyes and do the extra testing gave me such a huge peace.
    I could go on as I really appreciate a great business with super kind people who all do their job so well. I took my mom back a week later & she agreed. I will continue to go there for years to come."
    A. D. / Google Review
  • "Great folks here! Very helpful. Get your eyes checked people!"
    Kim Zweig / Facebook Review
  • "Ann is so sweet and professional at the same time. got me scheduled very quickly! Dr Bordner is very kind and makes you feel taken care of"
    Allison Kristen Keever / Facebook Review
  • "Wonder place and pricing"
    Rob Zweig / Google Review
  • "The staff was very friendly and efficient - highly recommend this office ."
    Leslie Jones / Google Review
  • "Great doctor and staff, very welcoming!"
    Tiaris Ayala / Google Review
  • "The doctor is very knowledgeable and kind. The entire staff was very helpful. I will be returning yearly!"
    Laurie Shillington / Google Review