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What Gross Stuff Lives on My Glasses?

Bacteria is everywhere, even the places you least expect it. So, if you were wondering what happens to be living on your glasses you may be in for a shock.

Everyone has eyelash and eyebrow mites, called demodex folliculorum, which are not visible to the human eye. They feed on dead skin and oil, and, if you thought this was gross, it's nothing compared to what you can find on your glasses.

Bacteria thrive in a warm environment, making your eyes a fantastic home for them. According to Kremer Eye Center, Microban's research on eyeglasses found that of all the pairs tested, 95 percent of the glasses had high levels of bacteria present — which is transferred from your hands when you touch your glasses.

This bacteria can cause eye irritations, infections and even abrasions, with some of the more common ones including Bacterial Keratitis, Blepharitis and Conjunctivitis.

Bacterial Keratitis: An infection of the cornea, which is dangerous and needs to be treated right away. Symptoms include reduced vision, light sensitivity, and discharge or tearing from the eye.

Blepharitis: Blepharitis causes inflammation of the eyelids — either on the outside of the eyelid or in the inside — and is caused by a bacterial infection.

Conjunctivitis: Conjunctivitis, or pink eye as it's commonly referred to, is an inflammation of the eye caused by bacteria.

Bacteria from your glasses is also believed to cause acne around the T-zone of your face. But skin irritations can also be due to an allergy from your glasses (some people are allergic to the nickel in the frames), so, if the irritations persist it's best to speak to your optometrist about your options.

It should go without saying that it's incredibly important to keep your glasses clean, and to clean them regularly (at least once a day). As for how you should be cleaning them, firstly, don't use your breathe as this can result in your glasses becoming even more infected with bacteria. To clean, use a gentle soap or a mild disinfectant, along with warm water (not hot), and then dry with a microfiber cloth.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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