Contact Lens-Related Infections

Contact Lens-Related Infections

Contact Lens-Related Infections

While contact lenses are safely used by millions of people every day, they do carry a risk of eye infection. The most common infection related to contact lens use is keratitis, an infection of the cornea

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(the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil). Keratitis can have multiple causes, including herpes, bacteria, fungus and microbes (such as acanthamoeba—a very difficult infection to treat). Keratitis is the most serious complication of contact lens wear. In severe cases, it can lead to corneal scarring that impairs vision, and may lead to the need for a cornea transplant.

Symptoms of contact lens-related infections may include blurry vision, unusual redness of the eye, pain in the eye, tearing or discharge from the eye, increased light sensitivity or the sensation of something in your eye. It is important to remember that some contact lens-related eye infections can cause serious vision loss or even blindness, so it is important to see your Eye M.D. as soon as possible for treatment.

Factors that contribute to a contact lens-related infection include:

  • Use of extended-wear lenses
  • Sleeping in your contact lenses
  • Reduced tear exchange under the lens
  • Environmental factors
  • Poor hygiene, including poor maintenance of contact lens cases or reusing or topping off contact lens solution

Safe handling, storage and cleaning of your lenses are key steps to reduce your risk of a keratitis infection.

That 80-90% of overall UV damage to our eyes is accumulated before the age of 18! Like skin damage from UV exposure, we now know occurred for the most part from exposure before the age of 18. Kids in UV protected sun glasses is highly recommended. Protect their eyes just like you do their delicate skin!

Water & contacts don’t mix. To help prevent eye infections, contact lenses should be removed before going swimming or in a hot tub. Alternatively, wear goggles.

The lenses in children’s eyes do not block as much UV radiation as they do in adults’ eyes, putting them at increased risk for sun damage to the eyes.

Left untreated, glaucoma can lead to vision loss. Glaucoma can strike without pain or other symptoms and is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), early detection and treatment is critical to maintain healthy vision and protect the eyes from the effects of potentially blinding diseases, such as glaucoma.

Age-related macular degeneration is a leading cause of blindness. Learn the risk factors for this disease? Having a close family relative with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) puts you at higher risk for developing the disease yourself.