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As millions of colleges students prepare to head back to university campuses across the country, check out these eye health tips to share with your college-bound patients.
San Francisco-As millions of colleges students prepare to head back to university campuses across the country, check out these eye health tips to share with your college-bound patients.
• Don’t shower or swim in your contact lenses. College students are busy, but make sure your patients know they are never too busy to properly care for their contact lenses. To avoid a serious eye infection like Acanthamoeba keratitis, your patients need to know their contact lenses should never come in contact with water, only sterile contact lens solution.
• Go outside. Too many hours inside the classroom or hitting the books at the library can put students at risk of becoming more myopic. Spending some time outdoors-with the proper sun protection, of course-can help decrease that risk.
• Wash your hands. From dorms to frat houses, college students can be gross, leaving opportunities for conjunctivitis and other infections to spread quickly across large groups of people. Advise your patients to wash their hands regularly and avoid rubbing their eyes.
• Give your eyes a break. Studying is important, but it’s also important that students give their eyes a break from staring at books and computer screens all day to prevent dry eye. Teach your patients the 20-20-20 rule: look at something 20 feet away every 20 minutes for 20 seconds.
• Don’t share makeup. Many students share everything from class notes to clothes with their roommates, but some things just aren’t meant to be shared-especially makeup. Bacteria love to hang out in liquid or cream eye makeup, so tell your patients to use only their own makeup and to throw it away after three months.
• Protect your eyes during the game. Make sure your student athletes are wearing the proper eye protection for any sports they’re involved in.