A MUST Read for Contact Lens Users

Many contact lens users are not caring for their lenses correctly. Many use the common excuses, “I clean them really well” or “I am not sure how long its been since I changed my contacts, but they feel fine.”

Although these are common excuses, we are here to educate you on why no excuse is worth your vision!

In a blog another time, we will address sleeping in your contacts and the health risks associated – but today we want to look at a specific disease increasing in prevalence. It is preventable. Found in contact lens users, and 100% preventable.

Acanthamoeba keratitis. What is it? why should I care? It is an eye disease that causes the front surface of the eye, the cornea, to become painful and inflamed, due to infection by Acanthamoeba, a cyst-forming microorganism.

This disease, studied in England, is up three folds since 2011. It is caused when patients use bad contact lens solution or contaminated their lenses with water.

If the name of this disease is not frightening enough, 25% of individuals infected suffer some type of blindness and another 25% need a corneal transplant to repair their vision loss.

Although it is true this disease can affect anyone, contact lens users are at the greatest risk due to the exposure to multiple ways of infection through contact lens usage.

Research found that contact lens users who contracted the disease were three times more likely to have poor contact lens hygiene, such as:

  1. Not washing their hands before and after inserting contact lenses
  2. Keeping the contact lens solution bottle open and exposed to air
  3. Washing their contact lenses in water
  4. Wearing contact lenses in hot tubs or swimming pools
  5. Showering or washing their faces while wearing contact lenses
  6. Not rubbing their contact lenses even when using “no rub” solution
  7. Filling up contact lens solution in cases that already had solution in them
  8. Leaving the lids off the contact lens cases while their lenses are inserted
  9. Not changing their contact lenses when the manufacture has given them a expiration date

In America we are at a lower risk for contracting the disease due to better drinking water, but are still at risk.

So what can you do? According to the Journal of Ophthalmology, “People who wear reusable contact lenses need to make sure they thoroughly wash and dry their hands before handling contact lenses, and avoid wearing them while swimming, face washing or bathing. Daily disposable lenses, which eliminate the need for contact lens cases or solutions, may be safer and we are currently analysing our data to establish the risk factors for these.”

If you think you may have a contact lens infection, or just need to renew your prescription, contact us today for an appointment!