Are your eyes included in your hygiene regimen?
If not, you might not be seeing the whole picture!
COVID-19 has brought a huge focus on our hygiene habits. Things we all should have been doing but took for granted are now necessary for fighting off this virus. Ocular hygiene is something we rarely think about. How does our daily hygiene routine impact our eyes? Did you know that conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, has become an early indicator of the coronavirus (AAO)? Many Doctors have started to ask “Are their eyes red and itchy?” as a part of early screening. It’s a chicken-and-egg scenario as far as whether the itch or the virus comes first, but they might go hand in hand.
So, what can you do to protect your eyes and, in turn, protect yourself during this time? Here are some tips for ocular health that can help you stay safe and protected!
Stop wearing contacts for a while.
Not having to wear contacts is one of the main benefits of LASIK surgery, but if you have not had the surgery yet, come see us after the virus subsides to eliminate this risk! In the meantime, consider switching to your glasses for a while, so you aren’t touching your eyes every day and putting yourself at risk for infection.
Wash your hands.
This is a common theme in today’s news cycle, but it’s the most basic, simple way to protect yourself and your eyes during this time. It stands to reason that if your hands have bacteria on them, then you are at risk for infection. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds every time!
Practice safe contact habits.
Wash your hands before you touch your eyes or your contacts. Remove your contacts every night before you go to bed – no exceptions. Do not try to extend the life of your contacts, whether they are daily, monthly or long term. Replace them as directed by your optometrist.
Limit screen time.
Okay, this one won’t help you avoid coronavirus, but we are all working from home, or at least turning to screens for distraction. Avoid overuse of screens. General rule of thumb: for every 20 minutes of screen time, look away for at least 20 seconds to give your eyes a break. Also, adjust the lighting in your workspace to eliminate glare.
These practices aren’t just important during this time when we are at heightened awareness, we should all practice good eye health year round. Tired of infections or irritations from contacts? Eliminate that with LASIK! Make sure that once this at-home period ends, you contact us immediately to schedule your appointment! We can’t wait to see you!