Accessibility View Close toolbar

McAllen

MCALLEN,

(956) 992-9100

Harlingen

Harlingen,

(956) 428-0303

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

Exclusive Offer

New Patients receive 30% OFF Second Pair of Polarized Prescription Sunglasses

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

McAllen

Monday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday:

8:30 am-7:00 pm

Wednesday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Thursday:

8:30 am-7:00 pm

Friday:

8:30 am-5:00 pm

Saturday:

Closed

Sunday:

Closed

Harlingen

Monday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Tuesday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Thursday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Friday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Saturday:

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Sunday:

Closed

Location

Find us on the map

Testimonials

Reviews From Our Satisfied Patients

  • "RGV Family Eye Care is the best at what they do and make you feel right at home."
    Amanda W.
  • "The Doctors and staff are courteous and very professional. I wholeheartedly recommend RGV Family Eye Care!"
    Jane D.

Featured Articles

Helpful and Informative Resources

  • What Do Your Eyes Say About Your Health?

    Subtle changes in your eyes may be the first signs of a health problem. ...

    Read More
  • Makeup Tips for Sensitive Eyes

    Does your cosmetics make your eyes water and burn? Try these makeup tips for sensitive eyes. ...

    Read More
  • How to Clean Your Eyeglasses

    Do you know how to clean your eyeglasses correctly? Take a look a few tips that will keep your specs cleaner. ...

    Read More
  • All About Amblyopia

    Amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, is a visual disorder caused by abnormal vision development, often occurring during infancy. Patients with amblyopia have reduced vision in one eye, because it is not working properly in conjunction with the brain. With early detection and proper treatment, loss of ...

    Read More
  • All About Glaucoma

    Glaucoma is a serious disorder that can damage the optic nerves of your eyes if left untreated. The optic nerve carries images from your eyes to your brain. If the nerve is damaged, full or partial vision loss can occur. In some cases, people develop glaucoma because the pressure in their eyes begins ...

    Read More
  • Binocular Vision: Disorders and Treatment

    For many, the term binocular vision conjures images of super powers or the rare ability to spot objects far away, but having binocular vision simply means having two eyes with which to see. Binocular vision does lend creatures with two eyes advantages over those with only one, such as enhanced vision, ...

    Read More
  • Curbing Macular Degeneration

    Macular degeneration represents one of the most significant causes of vision loss in older adults. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 1.8 million people currently suffer from macular degeneration, with an additional 7.3 million people at risk of developing this ...

    Read More
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: What Is It?

    Diabetic retinopathy refers to several eye problems that are characterized by damage to the light-sensitive retina, caused by excessive blood sugar levels. Almost half of Americans with diabetes suffer from some level of diabetic retinopathy. When glucose levels in the blood are not properly controlled, ...

    Read More
  • Glaucoma Care: What You Need to Know

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, reports the Glaucoma Research Foundation. This common eye condition typically affects older adults, although infants and young adults are also at risk. Fortunately, however, cutting-edge research is improving diagnosis and treatment of this ...

    Read More
  • Strabismus

    Strabismus is the medical term for the misalignment of the eyes. Commonly referred to as cross-eyed or wall-eyed, strabismus may involve either one or both eyes turning inward, outward or even up or down. It is one of the most common vision conditions in young children, affecting somewhere between 2 ...

    Read More

Newsletter Signup

Sign Up to Receive More Articles