Avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands. This will reduce the risk of you getting an infection. If you need to touch your eyes or the area around your eyes you should wash your hands with warm soapy water before and after touching your eyes.
Don’t rub your eyes
Try to avoid rubbing or scratching your eyes as this can lead to an infection.
If your eye discomfort is triggered by allergies for example, try to avoid the cause of your allergic reaction. Common triggers include fur, dust, pollen and certain foods.
Don’t share personal items
Avoid sharing things like towels, flannels or make-up as this could pass on an infection.
Cleaning your eyes
Any eye discharge should be gently cleaned from the eye area. Use a separate cotton wool pad soaked in water for each eye. Always wipe from the corner of the eye (nearest the nose) outwards to prevent cross-contamination of any infection into the other eye.
Soothing your eyes
A cold compress may soothe your eyes.
Take care when inserting and removing contact lenses from your eyes. Always follow your optician’s instructions for cleaning your lenses and avoid wearing them for long periods of time. Take them out before you sleep and always wash your hands before touching your lenses.
Sore eyes and contact lenses
If you have sore eyes you should remove your contact lenses and leave them out until all the signs and symptoms of the infection or irritation have gone. If you have glasses, wear these instead.
You can help prevent eye strain by giving your eyes regular breaks from looking at the same object, such as a computer screen. This helps rest your eye muscles.
Avoid looking directly at the sun
This can cause damage to your eyes because they are sensitive to the sun’s strong UV (ultraviolet) rays. If you’re outside on a sunny day try wearing sunglasses to help minimise contact between your eyes and the sun’s rays.