Some days ago at the church, I saw one of the security men wearing sunglasses. While exchanging pleasantries, I noticed that he put one of his fingers behind the sunglasses and started rubbing his eye. That was unusual and so I asked what was wrong. He then raised the glasses up a bit to show me his eyes. Lo and behold, they were red, slightly inflamed, looked teary and had yellowish discharge at the inner corners. I asked, “ What are you doing here? Don’t you know that you can spread this to other people?” …and he said, “Madam, nothing dey happen. Na why I wear shades. Nobody go get am”. So, I just took a few minutes to educate him before I entered the church office.

That incident got me thinking because I thought that people wear sunglasses when they have eye infections for cosmetic purposes or to avoid photophobia (light sensitivity). It was interesting to find out that some people think that wearing sunglasses can prevent the spread of eye infection.

Eye infections are spread through contact and not by looking at the infected eyes. If you have an eye infection and you touch your eyes and then shake someone or touch things like door handles, tables and other surfaces, you can spread the infection. If you shake someone with an eye infection, touch what they have touched our use their items like handkerchiefs, towels and make up, you can get infected.

To avoid spreading eye infections:

  • Consult the eye doctor for proper treatment.
  • Use your medications and stay at home, away from people until the infection subsides.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • If you happen to touch or rub your eyes, wash them immediately

To avoid getting eye infections:

  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.
  • If you must touch your eyes, wash your hands before you do so.
  • Do not share personal items such as towels, handkerchief and make up with others.
  • Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after coming in contact with door handles and other items in public places.

Stay safe. Help keep others safe. Apply proper infection prevention and control practices.