How to Keep Your Eyes Safe From Germs

Woman rubbing her eyes

Protecting Your Eyes from Germs

Germs look for the easiest way into your body, often entering through your eyes and other mucus membranes. Fortunately, taking a few simple steps to protect your eyes may reduce your chance of developing an illness or infection.

Don't Touch Your Face

Like most people, you probably touch your face many times throughout the day without thinking about what you're doing. In fact, medical students who participated in a study at the University of New South Wales touched their faces an average of 23 times per hour. Forty-four percent of those touches involved the nose, mouth, or eyes.

If bacteria or viruses are on your hands, you'll transfer them to your eyes by touching or rubbing. Although your hands may look clean, they actually harbor more germs than you may realize. A typical hand has about 150 different species of bacteria on it, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder study.

Rubbing your eyes can also increase your risk of developing keratoconus, an eye condition that occurs when the normally round cornea becomes thin and cone-shaped. The cornea is the clear tissue covering your iris and pupil. If you develop keratoconus, your vision may become blurred and distorted.

Wash Your Hands

No matter how careful you are about keeping your hands away from your face, you're bound to forget from time to time. You'll be less likely to spread germs to your eyes if you make hand-washing a frequent habit.

Fortunately, soap and warm water will remove the germs that could make you sick. Scrub your hands and nails for at least 20 seconds to get rid of bacteria and viruses. If running water isn't available, hand sanitizer is a good option.

In addition to washing your hands after using the bathroom, wash them:

  • Before and After Preparing Raw Meat, Poultry, or Fish
  • After Working with Soil
  • After Changing a Diaper, Helping Someone Else with Bathroom Needs, or Removing Animal Waste
  • After Taking Out the Trash
  • After You Blow Your Nose or Sneeze
  • After Washing and Bandaging a Wound
  • Before Touching Your Eyes or Using Eye Drops
  • After Taking Care of Someone Who Is Ill

Clean Your Glasses

The outside of your glasses may be coated in germs, particularly if someone sneezes or coughs near you. Handling your glasses, then absentmindedly touching your eyes, will send those germs into your eyes.

Clean your glasses in the morning and evening, or after you've been around someone who has been sneezing or coughing. You don't need expensive eyeglass cleaners to remove bacteria and viruses. Soap and warm water will get rid of the germs.

Avoid Sick People

Keeping your distance from people who sneeze, cough, or mention that they don't feel well will help keep germs away from your face. If possible, stay at least six feet away from people who are ill.

Follow Contact Lens Hygiene Recommendations

Germs and viruses may also find their way into your eyes if you wear contact lenses and don't practice good hygiene. In addition to increasing your risk of illness, poor contact lens hygiene can cause potentially serious eye infections that could temporarily or permanently affect your vision.

If you wear contact lenses, be sure to:

  • Wash your hands before putting in, removing, or handling your lenses.
  • Clean your contact lens case every day, and refill the wells with fresh solution. (Don't just top off the solution already in the wells.)
  • Replace your contact lens case every three months or as soon as it becomes cracked or damaged.
  • Never use saliva to wet/clean your lenses.
  • Follow your eye doctor's cleaning instructions.
  • Keep the cap on solutions to prevent contamination.
  • Don't wear your contact lenses while swimming.
  • Replace your lenses as recommended by your optometrist.

Regular eye examinations will help you keep your eyes healthy. Contact our office if you're ready to make an appointment for your next exam.

Sources:

American Academy of Ophthalmology: How to Take Care of Contact Lenses, 3/18/20

International Journal of Ophthalmology: The Correlation Between Keratoconus and Eye Rubbing: A Review, 2019

University of Colorado at Boulder: Women Have More Diverse Hand Bacteria Than Men, According to CU-Boulder Study, 11/3/08

All About Vision: Eye Germs and Viruses: Keeping Hands, Glasses and Contacts Clean, 8/20

American Academy of Ophthalmology: Eye Infections: Be Careful Now or Regret It Later, 6/24/20

Cleveland Clinic: Common Cold

PubMed: American Journal of Infection Control: Face Touching: A Frequent Habit That Has Implications for Hand Hygiene, 2/15

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Frequent Questions About Hand Hygiene

Contact us to request an appointment today.

New Patients receive 15% OFF Second Pair of Complete Glasses!

Testimonials

  • Dr. Joyce is the most compassionate, caring person I have ever met. She is very intelligent, explains the eye tests and results, and offers suggestions to keep my eyes healthy. I consider her a friend as well as a fabulous eye doctor.

    - Doreen W
  • Dr. Joyce was affable and professional. Most thorough eye exam I’ve experienced. State of the art facilities. Friendly and knowledgeable office staff. Highly recommended.

    - Steven C
  • Very professional & friendly staff, very clean office with top of the line eye care equipment for extremely thorough eye care exam. Dr. Joyce in addition to examining my eye sight reviewed very detailed results of my overall eye health.

    - Stephanie B
  • The staff are friendly and competent. Dr Joyce takes time to explain any tests that were performed. Great experience.

    - Beverly K
  • Very thorough. explained what is going on with my vision and was able to fit me with contact lenses that feel great and now have no need for reading glasses.

    - Boyd D
  • Dr. Joyce is top notch and has all of the cutting-edge technology. I also bring my children to her. We used to see her when she was at Schwartz Eyecare in Newtown and we were thrilled when she opened her office in Richboro...even closer to us! You'll be well taken care of if you choose her as your ophthalmologist.

    ...
    Show More - Elle B
  • of the best, most thorough, articulate, accessible doctors I’ve ever seen. Her office is packed full of state of the art cool eye tools that provide incredible insight (oops... pun actually works) and she explains so that this non-medical patient can understand. This exam was most comprehensive. One of my eye doctors is a friend and even when visiting him in Santa Monica office, the time Dr Joyce spent with me was comparable. I only wish she had more specialties (e.g. dermatology, podiatry). I’m a patient now so I feel safe. You better call for an appointment now lest she stops taking new patients. Thank you, Dr Joyce!

    ...
    Show More - judy a
  • Dr Joyce was extremely pleasant, informative, thorough and professional. She took the time to go over all of my test results and explain what they meant. She was able to identify some personal care items that I could do to improve my particular concern. I was very impressed with her personal approach to her practice and patients.

    ...
    Show More - Henry C
  • This was my first time at Eyecare For You. The facility was very clean and the office staff pleasant. The young man who I was with in the beginning to do the initial check in process was very efficient, professional and it was very evident that he took his job seriously. I especially liked that he cleaned off each piece of equipment prior to my resting my chin and forehead on them. Dr Joyce was also very professional and personable. Her work ethic was spot on, and she explained each process very clearly and made sure I understood before she moved on to the next section. The equipment seemed to be the most current and I was overall very impressed with the care I received here. I will be returning.

    ...
    Show More - Karen B
  • Excellent experience with Dr Joyce and others on the staff. No need to get records transferred from previous eye care center. Eyecare For You appears to have the latest hi-tech testing equipment and will determine the best option(s) to improve your vision to its maximum capability. I expect my new prescription glasses with anti-glare coating will minimize glare at night and should allow me to see better than ever. Cost was very reasonable. I have already recommended two friends to call for an appointment ASAP.

    ...
    Show More - Dave T
  • Dr. Kathleen Joyce is absolutely amazing! I haven't seen her in over 2 years but she still made me feel like I just saw her last week. She pays attention to details and makes you excited to see her in the office! She really goes the extra mile

    - Cassi LP.
  • Dr. Joyce was thorough, explained procedures completely, and on top of that was friendly and very down to earth. I really could not ask for more!

    - Kathy F.
  • Dr. Joyce is an excellent doctor, diagnostician and communicator.

    - Catherine L.
  • Dr. Joyce make me feel welcome and, did explain everything about my exam results in detail.

    - Robert M.
  • Very efficient, competent, and solved my contact problems. Now I can wear them all the time without discomfort. Dr. Joyce is very professional yet friendly!

    - Jessica M.
  • Dr. Joyce is awesome she makes you feel at home and is very calm.

    - K. I.
  • Dr. Joyce is amazing!

    - Kevin H.

Contact Us

We look forward to hearing from you

Hours of Operation

Call for an Appointment at (215) 485-5384

Monday

9:00 am-5:00 pm

Tuesday

10:00 am-6:00 pm

Wednesday

11:00 am-7:00 pm

Thursday

Closed

Friday

9:00 am-3:00 pm

Saturday

9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Monday
9:00 am-5:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am-6:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am-7:00 pm
Thursday
Closed
Friday
9:00 am-3:00 pm
Saturday
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Sunday
Closed

Location

Find us on the map