External Eye Infections and Personal Hygiene Practices Among Patients Attending Optometry Teaching Clinic Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

Azuamah, Y.C., Esenwah, E.C ., Ahuama, O.C.,Ikoro, N.C., Iwuagwu, F.C. and Dozie, I.N.S.

  1. Department of Optometry, Federal University of Technology, Owerri.
  2. Department of Optometry, Abia State University, Uturu.
  3. Department of Optometry, Imo State University, Owerri.
  4. Department of Public Health, Federal University of Technology, Owerri.

Corresponding Author: Azuamah, Y.C   Email: young.azuamah@futo.edu.ng   Phone: + 2348034933590


External eye infections occur when harmful microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoan and viruses invade any part of the anterior outer part of the eyeball. This study was carried out to between January 2016 and December 2016 to investigate the external eye infections and personal hygiene practices among patients attending Optometry Teaching Clinic at Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Nigeria. A total of 217 patients with external eye infections who came to the clinic during this period were used for this study. A well-structured questionnaire was used to obtain information on their personal hygiene practices. Swabs collected from the infected eyes were taken to the laboratory for isolation and identification of causative organisms. Ocular examination results showed that bacterial conjunctivitis was the most prevalent external eye infection and was seen in146 (67.28%) patients. Information on hygiene practices showed that 29 (13.36%) of the patients wash their hands with soap and water before eating and 42 (19.35%) wash their hands with soap and water after toilet use. Laboratory results showed that the major causative organism was Staphylococcus aureus, isolated in 91 (41.94%) samples. Statistical analysis showed that there was no significant difference in both the gender variations (P > 0.05) and age variations (P > 0.05) of pathogenic organisms implicated in the external eye infections. Optometrists should educate their patients on the need for good personal hygiene as this will help in preventing external eye infections which can occur from contaminated fingers that come in contact with the eyes.

Keywords: External eye infections, Personal hygiene, Microorganisms, Handwashing.

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