How Germs Can Travel to Our Eyes

As we go through our day, we do not realize that we rub our eyes many times. It is important to ensure that our hands are clean before we touch our faces, especially our eyes. Rubbing is the easiest way to make our eyes feel better when we are tired, when it feels dry, or when we feel that there is something stuck inside. It is emphasized that rubbing is a great way to spread germs from your fingers to your eyes.

We have different types of microorganisms present in our skin all the time including in our faces and hands. The microorganism is known to be “skin flora” which contains species of bacteria, viruses, and germs. There is a beneficial microorganism but some cause disease or infection. Being cautious is a must because we are aware of how the germs on our skin and hands are dangerous especially when they get into our eyes.

middle aged woman rubbing tired eyes

What Is the Natural Defense of Our Eyes?

Just like our bodies, our eyes have their natural defenses. The eyes are known to be more vulnerable to disease and infection-causing germs than skin. The eyelashes are one of the defenses that help to keep the irritants out by blinking. The next is the tear film which is a three-layer drainage system that acts to protect the cornea from germs and debris that can reach the surface of the eyes.

Rubbing your eyes may cause tiny injuries to the cornea such as corneal abrasion. It can also give an opening to the germs which allows them to get inside and cause infection. Even though our eyes have their natural defense, we should refrain from rubbing our eyes to decrease the risk of developing an infection.

kid with dirty hands

How to Protect Our Eyes From Germs

Sometimes, it is unavoidable to touch our eyes. Contact lens wearers need to touch their eyes when they are inserting and removing their contact lens. We need to keep the contact to a minimum and the thing that we can do is thoroughly wash our hands with soap before we touch our eyes.

It is important to trim fingernails regularly to prevent any transfer of germs to the eyes. As we touch different things, it is easy for germs and debris to accumulate under our fingernails. We are aware that it is almost impossible to clean our fingernails when they are long. The main reason why medical professionals wear gloves is because of the germs that collect under fingernails.

Make sure to contact an eye doctor if you experience symptoms including redness, itchiness, tenderness, burning, or watery eyes because it could indicate an eye infection. Try to avoid touching them in the meantime.

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