Why is handwashing important? | Iowa Eye Safety

January 13, 2021

Just How Important is Washing Your Hands? Let’s Take a Closer Look!

Why is Handwashing Important?

We all know that germs are everywhere… no matter where we are, there are germs. But how can each of us do our part in stopping the spread of germs?

Are you washing your hands after each time you use the restroom? Or how about washing your hands every time you prep and eat food, or simply taking out the trash. One of the most effective ways of stopping the spread of germs is simply washing your hands with soap and water. Not only is this simple and inexpensive but it is one of the best steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. Practicing effective handwashing is essential to our health and here at Wolfe Eye Clinic we want to educate and provide a friendly reminder on the importance of hand hygiene.

It is important to wash your hands at least every 1-2 hours with water and soap for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not accessible, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% or more alcohol content.  

How Can Handwashing Keep Your Eyes Safe?

An important note for maintaining healthy hand hygiene is to break the habit of touching your “T Zone” area which includes your eyes, nose, and mouth area. Direct contamination to any of those facial mucous membranes is the most common way for disease to enter your body. If you are a Why is washing your hands important?contact lens wearer, wash your hands with soap and water and make sure to dry them prior to inserting the contacts to prevent the spread of infections to your eyes. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide is called Trachoma which is related to the lack of facial hygiene. If you’ve ever considered LASIK laser vision correction, learn more about it here. For the right candidate, it may be one way to reduce any need to touch your eyes or be bothered by contact lenses each day! 

Thinking of skipping the 20 second hand- washing? Think again and read these mind-blowing facts from the CDC listed below! You may re-consider in washing your hands more often.

  • Hand washing with soap and water could reduce up to 50% of deaths associated to diarrheal disease,  which along with pneumonia, claims the lives of about 1.8 million children under the age of five each year

  • Contaminated hands make up a large percentage of foodborne disease outbreaks

  • Handwashing can prevent one in five respiratory illnesses such as cold or flu

  • Germs are commonly transferred from unwashed hands to doorknobs, tables, toys, etc. and then transferred to another person’s hand

  • The global rate of handwashing globally after using a bathroom is only 19%

Handwashing Reminders

It has never been more important than now to start practicing effective hand hygiene. Whether you are out running errands or just in your own home, remember to wash your hands at least every 1-2 hours and especially before you prep or eat food and after using a restroom. Even when you come in from outside, wash your hands. And most importantly always avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth without clean hands!

If you or someone you care about has developed an eye related issue, visit your local eye doctor or learn more about Wolfe Eye Clinic doctors here.

For more information on effective hand hygiene and visit the CDC here.