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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11367
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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What is the risk of infection if a small amount of fecal

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What is the risk of infection if a small amount of fecal matter - human or animal - were to accidentally get into one's eyes?
Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

That is a very good question. Could you tell me a bit more about what specifically happened? Also, were you wearing contact lenses at the time?

Customer:

In one instance, if someone's hands were not washed after a bowel movement, and in another instance, if someone touched a surface that had bird or animal droppings, or had come in contact with them

Dr. Rick :

Thank for you for that information. In both of the situations you are asking about the risk of getting an eye infection would be very, very low.

Dr. Rick :

The tear film contains antibodies to fight organisms/bacteria. The lids and tear film rapidly remove any foreign material and bacteria and the corneal epithelium is a strong physical barrier to infection.

Dr. Rick :

I do not think that you would have any need to worry about an eye infection in either of the scenarios you described.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Customer:

Thanks. I'd thought such bacteria would be quite severe.

Dr. Rick :

No. They are no match for your eyes defenses :-)

Customer:

Lysozyme?

Dr. Rick :

Have a Happy Holidays

Dr. Rick :

I hope this information was helpful for you. But I do work for tips so I want to make sure you are happy with me before rating me. If you have another question on this or a related issue feel free to fire away. And please let me know if the rating system gives you any troubles.

Thanks in advance,

Dr. Rick

Dr. Rick :

lysozyme is a enzyme in tear film that destroys components of bacteria and other critters.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What if fecal matter or animal droppings were indeed to actually get into one's eyes by accident?

And what about raw fish from sushi - would that contain parasites or bacteria that could cause harm if accidentally rubbed into eyes?