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Vision Health 101: The Importance Of Washing Your Hands

December 3, 2013

During National Hand Washing Awareness Week, learn how washing your hands can improve your vision health!

As kids, one of the most important reminders that our parents and our doctors often gave us was how important it was to wash our hands throughout the day. And it’s easy to understand why―kids are constantly getting their fingers into dirty, germy places or playing alongside kids who have a stuffed up nose or red, itchy eyes. Washing your hands regularly was the first line of defense when it came to keeping kids germ-free!

However, washing your hands is not just a practice that should be reinforced and practiced during your toddler years. Everyone from kids to adults to seniors should be following this common health practice each and every day in order to keep themselves well and protect themselves against easily transferred illness.

Wash Your Hands

That is why, in honor of National Hand Washing Awareness Week, December 1st-7th, we are encouraging our readers to learn just how important hand washing can be, especially when it comes to maintaining healthy vision!

Washing Your Hands Can Keep Your Eyes Healthy

There are a number of different contagious eye infections that range from mild to moderate that can easily be passed from person. Pink Eye, also known as Conjunctivitis , is one of the most common eye infections that can spread like wildfire (especially among school children) simply from not washing your hands. Common symptoms of pink eye include red, inflamed, itchy eyes that are watery or may even feel like they are burning. Some people may even notice a slight discharge coming from the eye.

Chlamydial and Gonococcal Eye Infections can also be transferred simply from hand contact. These types of conjunctivitis typically are most common among teens and young adults who are sexually active, and may also result from chlamydial or gonococcal infections or STDs. Common symptoms of this illness include chronic eye infections that include discharge or pus.

The best way to protect yourself from both of these contagious eye infections is to constantly keep your hands clean through regular washing, as well as cleaning the areas around you that may come into regular contact with your eyes, such as your glasses, contacts case, sunglasses, etc.

How To Properly Wash Your Hands

Washing your hands is a common practice, but many people may not know the right way to wash their hands in order to protect themselves against germs. The five important steps of washing your hands include:

  • Get your hands wet with clean, running water and apply soap.
  • Rub your hands together in order to make a later and scrub them well. Also be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your finds and under your fingernails.
  • Continue rubbing your hands together for a minimum of 20 seconds.
  • Rinse your hands under the running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean tower or air dry them.

If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol will also work. However, washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to reduce the number of germs on them. Therefore, make sure you are washing your hands during National Hand Washing Awareness week, and all year long!


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