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How to protect our eyes from damage

Saturday, August 19th 2017. | Eye Care

Our eyes are our windows to the world – literally. They are one of our most important bodily assets yet we do not give them enough importance till something threatens the loss of our sight. As children we were advised by our parents not to read in bad lighting, not to sit too close to the TV so that our eyes would remain good. Here are some more helpful tips to protect our eyes from being harmed by infections, sunlight and injuries.

One of the worst things that we can do to our eyes is to rub them vigorously. Even though it feels good, vigorously rubbing our eyes can cause the superficial blood vessels to rupture. This can give us blood shot eyes, not so serious in itself. However, more harmful than that is the fact that we could be introducing bacteria and viruses into our eyes directly and setting ourselves up for some serious infection. When our eyes are itchy or irritated we should try rubbing around the eyes, rather than directly on the eye.

 Eye Protection
We should also try not to touch our eyes or even our eye lashes. Without realising it we tend to touch our face almost 16 times a day. That increases the chances of dirty fingers getting into the eyes. To prevent any germs from getting into our eyes we should make ourselves aware of our habit of randomly touching or rubbing our eyes. We should wash our hands with warm, soapy water if we do need to touch our eyes, for example if we need to change our contact lenses or if we feel there is something in our eye.

We should wear goggles in the sun to protect them from harmful UV rays. The goggles must have at least UV 400 protection.

While swimming we should wear goggles too, to protect our eyes from the chlorine of pool water, and the germs, impurities and salt present in sea water. When the chlorine in public pools mixes with sweat and urine it forms chloramines—chemicals that can cause eye redness and irritation. Goggles might look a little funny but they should be worn well enough to form a waterproof seal around our eyes to block out such potentially harmful compounds in the water.Eye Protection 1


We should also wear goggles when we do any repair work around the house as dust, sharp wood splinters or metal objects can hit our eyes and cause a serious injury. The goggles should be well fitting.

We should sterilise our lens case in boiling water for 5 minutes every week. We should also change our contact lens case every 3 to 4 months as there can be a germ buildup in them. Change the solution too daily. Germs on contact lenses can cause serious infections, corneal ulcers and open sores with severe pain, itching, sensitivity to light and blurry vision.


Never ever rinse your contact lenses with saliva or tap water. Our saliva contains many germs and tap water contains harmful amoebas that can cause Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection that can leave one permanently blind. So using either liquid to change our contacts puts us at risk for a serious infection that could lead to blindness.

Always use contact lens solution to change or rinse your contacts. Distilled water or saline drops are safe alternatives if you don’t have any solution around. If you have no other options, use cooled boiled tap water. Boiling sterilises the water, killing infection-causing bacteria.

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