1) Wash your hands frequently. Everyone touches their eyes occasionally, and keeping your hands clean reduces the risk of transferring bacteria and other infection-causing microorganisms to the eye.
2) Avoid rubbing your eyes. This also introduces infection-causing bacteria to your eyes from your hands.
3) Launder bath towels and washcloths frequently. Don’t share them with other family members.
4) At work, keep a waterless, anti-bacterial foam hand cleanser at your workstation and use it often.
5) Clean your computer keyboard frequently, especially if you share it with others. Also, clean your cell phone daily with an appropriate cleaner.
6) Wash your hands before applying cosmetics.
7) Remove your makeup and rinse your eyes with sterile, lubricating eye drops before sleep.
8) Never share your makeup with others.
9) Discard mascara or other eye makeup if it dries out, develops an odor or changes color.
10) Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before applying or removing contact lenses.
11) Don’t wear contact lenses while swimming or using a hot tub. Bacteria and other harmful microbes can adhere to your contacts and increase the risk of infection.
12) Clean your contacts after every use as directed.
13) Discard and replace your contacts according to the schedule specified by your eye doctor.
14) Rinse your contact lens storage case with fresh multipurpose solution after each use, and let it air dry with the caps off. Replace the case at least every three months.
15) Use fresh solutions each time you clean and disinfect your contacts. Don’t “top off” old solution in the case.
16) Never share your contact lenses with others.
17) Be aware that sleeping while wearing contact lenses, even if your lenses are approved for overnight wear, significantly increases your risk of eye infection.
18) Avoid physical contact with anyone with active “pink eye” or other eye infections.
19) At home, if any family members have a red eye or a confirmed eye infection, keep their bedding and towels clean, and don’t let them share these items with others. Have them wash their hands frequently.
20) Teach your children to avoid touching their eyes without washing their hands first, and to cover their nose when sneezing and their mouth when coughing.
Sometimes, despite taking the best precautions, eye infections do occur. If your eyes are red, uncomfortable, watery or sticky, or if flaky matter is forming at your eyelid margins, see your eye doctor immediately.If your doctor prescribes eye drops or other medicines, use them as directed and for the full duration recommended even if the signs and symptoms of your eye infection disappear quickly.