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What causes bacterial eye infections?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Bacteria that enters the eye through various means causes bacterial eye infections. Bacteria can enter the eye when you wear contact lenses, use bad eye drops, rub your eyes, or come into contact with stimulants in the environment, such as pollen. You may also be more susceptible to bacterial eye infection if you have a compromised immune system.

In addition to the previous answer, bacterial eye infections are common in contact lens wearers. Patients who use contacts should:

  • Wash hands when handling the contacts
  • Never sleep in contact lenses
  • Try to give eyes rest from contact lenses and reduce the number of hours of contact lens wear
  • Use proper cleaning solutions when cleaning and storing contact lenses
  • Never use tap water to clean contact lenses
  • Avoid non-prescription contact lenses, e.g. fashion or colored contact lenses
  • Replace old contact lenses as advised by the manufacturer

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.