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Scientific Overview: How Exactly Germs Can Get in Your Eyes

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There are germs inside a human body. Some of these germs can cause serious health conditions. Some of your body functions require help from germs. For instance, you cannot digest food without the help of good bacteria. However, it is important to minimize exposure to dangerous or harmful germs, especially when it comes to eye care.

Types of Eye Infections Germs Can Cause

Whenever our eyes are itchy or dry, or there is a small dust particle in one of them, we simply rub them. That’s the most effortless and harmless approach to make your eye feel better – unfortunately, this action is unintentionally transferring germs from your fingers to your eyes.

Usually, can get away with this action unharmed, but sometimes, germs can cause a severe eye infection. These eye infections occur when destructive fungi, microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses enter your eye. Here are some symptoms you can have due to germs in the eye;

  • Blurry vision
  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dryness

Fortunately, you can get rid of most eye infections by using antibiotic eye drops or compresses and ointments that your doctor prescribes. Many eye infections resolve on their own, but some eye infections require more care. It is best that you let an eye doctor help you with your situation rather than taking matters into your hands. Your eyes are some of the most sensitive parts of your body and even a slight error can prove to be seriously damaging.

Germs on Our Skin, Hands, and In the Air

Various forms of microorganisms exist on the surface of the skin, including our hands and faces. The microscopic ecosystem created by these organisms is known as “skin flora,” and it can hold thousands of species of germs, bacteria, and viruses.

The major source of these germs transferring into your eyes is clearly your hands. We interact with people or objects with our bare hands and carry germs. Those germs remain on our hands until we wash them properly with soap. Your eyes are more vulnerable than any other part of your skin to infections, but they are not defenseless.

Indeed, your eyelashes help keep dust and other harmful objects out. In addition to that, the tear is a three-layer drainage system to defend your cornea from germs that get to the eye’s surface.


If you are experiencing any discomfort in your eyes like itchiness, redness, tenderness, or burning, you should contact an eye specialist as soon as possible. These symptoms could be because of an eye infection. Discuss your concern with your eye specialist so that they can guide you properly. Go to an eye clinic for regular checkups to catch any problems before they worsen and become untreatable.

Written by Total Focus

At Total Focus Optometry, we’ve spent the last 70 years building meaningful relationships with our patients and their families. From routine eye exams to contact lens fittings we offer our patients a variety of services to meet their eye care needs.

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