Eye care specialists are committed towards protecting patient’s eyes as well as staff. Instruments which are used to treat patients are disinfected first to prevent infection from spreading. Infections are spread in a number of ways - from staff to patient, from patient to staff, by direct contact or by contaminated instruments. It is sometimes also spread through air.
There are number of ways to prevent infection from spreading. Some of them are:
Disinfection is nothing but disabling pathogenic microbes. It is done by chemical method or heat and water. However this technique is ineffective on bacterial endospore, fungi and protozoa.
Cleaning is nothing but the removal of foreign materials with water along with detergents and enzymatic materials. This is very important to prevent dangerous concentrations of harmful organisms caused by mucus, cosmetics and other factors.
One must scrub the surface of instruments to make it free from debris. For cleaning, isopropanol is used to remove hard deposits on instruments. But for some instruments alcohol is not used, as it may damage the instrument. For specific instruments, cleaning agent is used.
Sterilization is done to remove microorganisms including bacterial spores. It also involves autoclaving, which is nothing but exposing the instrument to high temperature and pressure. It is one of the efficient methods.
Reprocessing involves cleaning and disinfection of a reusable device. It is one of the best methods to ensure that all harmful deposits are removed.