Contact lenses are used as an alternative to wearing glasses. While there are many benefits of wearing contact lenses. But, the risks of wearing contact lenses are very high that’s why a public health warning for contact lens wearers over deadly infection has been issued.
Wearing contact lenses may situate you at high risk of eye infections and corneal ulcers. These problems can arise very quickly if you are wearing and reusing contact lenses. The condition appears when a parasite is confined between the cornea and contact lens which is a very serious condition called Acanthamoeba keratitis.
What is Acanthamoeba keratitis Eye Infection?
Acanthamoeba keratitis is an infection of the eyes, especially the cornea caused by cysts forming amoeba. About 25% of all patients are affected too badly by Acanthamoeba keratitis and they lose more than 25% of vision and become blind despite extensive treatment.
Cornea transplant is hope but it’s effective in 25% of people only in order to be cured.
Why A Warning for Contact Lens Wearers over Deadly Infection?
There are several methods to manage poor eyesight including laser eye surgery, wearing glasses, or wearing contact lenses. Contact lenses come in a variety of forms, including reusable ones but these can be a risk of deadly infection in your eye.
According to a study published in the Ophthalmology Journal by the University College London, people who wear daily reusable lenses are four times at risk to develop a serious eye infection.
Contact lenses are generally very easy and safe to use but are associated with the risk of microbial and parasite keratitis.
Given that an estimated 300 million people wear contact lenses across the globe and about one Acanthamoeba keratitis patient is diagnosed in 20,000 contact lens users every year in the United Kingdom.
What Are the Symptoms associated with wearing Contact Lens?
It’s obvious that you cannot determine the severity and seriousness of the problem that arises when you are wearing contact lenses. If you experience any symptoms listed below you should get help from your ophthalmologist or healthcare provider.
Symptoms of Eye Infection or Eye Irritation
- Excessive tears and irritation in the eye
- Photophobia or sensitivity to light
- The feeling of itching, burning, and gritty
- Redness of eye
- Swelling of eye
- Blurred Vision
- Discomfort and pain
What you should do if you experience any symptoms of eye infection.
- Remove your contact lens without a second thought and do not put it back into your eye
- Contact your Ophthalmologist or healthcare provider immediately
- Do not discard or through away your lenses, keep them in your cases and handover to your doctor. This may help to determine the cause of the infection and the treatment plan.
How to Reduce the Risk of Infection?
- Clean and disinfect your lenses as per the instructions given on the product label
- Do Not “top off” solutions in your case. Never recuse any lens solution
- Always discard the leftover solution after each use
- Do not forget to remove your lenses before swimming. There is a high risk of eye infection in swimming pool water, lakes, and the ocean.
- Replace the contact lens storage case every 90 days or as directed by your eye care professional.
- Do not expose your lenses to any water either tap, distilled, bottled, swimming pool, lake, or ocean.
Tap and distilled water can increase the risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis which is really difficult to treat and can be a cause of vision loss
Frequently Asked Questions
What Type of Organism is Acanthamoeba?
Acanthamoeba is a microscopic, free-living amoeba a single-celled living organism that can cause severe infections of the eye. Acanthamoeba is a worldwide parasite living in warm water lakes, spas, and swimming pools.
Is there a Vaccine for Acanthamoeba?
MIP-133 Oral immunization before and after infection with Acanthamoeba significantly reduced the severity of the corneal infection and reduce corneal ulceration.
How Acanthamoeba Transmitted?
The mode of transmission is through infected water, and also includes inhalation of cysts and trophozoites carried by the wind through the respiratory tract, direct skin contact, improper contact lens-care practices, or entry through preexisting wounds.
Can Acanthamoeba be Cured?
If the infection is limited to the skin and has not spread to the central nervous system can be cured successfully. An infected eye with Acanthamoeba is difficult to treat and can lead to loss of vision.