Wearing contact lenses may lead to Acanthamoeba Keratitis

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Today, there are a quite large number of people who use contact lenses for vision aid or cosmetic enjoyment. Contacts differ significantly from regular eyeglasses. A noticeable difference lies in daily care. Contact lenses always need careful cleaning and storing. If a wearer has poor healthy habits, a serious infection named Acanthamoeba may be aroused, and is very difficult to treat. To prevent this tough infection, contact lenses wearers must follow the caring code set by doctors and manufacturers.

Explicit and implicit signs

It is difficult to diagnose Acanthamoeba Keratitis, even if they have obvious symptoms such as red eyesred eyes, eye pain, tearing, blurred vision etc… These signs are common and may be caused by other eye diseases. The way to diagnose Acanthamoeba Keratitis is using antibiotics, which may cause different reactions from Keratitis. Another ensured sign of Acanthamoeba Keratitis is ulceration on the corneal tissue. Corneal transplant surgery is the widely used solution to reduce the risk of permanent vision loss caused by Acanthamoeba Keratitis.

What is exactly Acanthamoeba Keratitis?

Firstly found in 1973, Acanthamoeba has been mostly related to contact lenses, with a 90 percentage. Acanthamoeba Keratitis that infects the eyes comes from the natural occurring amoeba. These tiny and single-cell animals mostly appear in tap water, well water as well as a sewage system. Fortunately, Acanthamoeba Keratitis occurs at an average of two times among one million wearers. Exception also exists, ever found by the US Centers for Diseases Control and other researchers. In 2007, a contact lenses solution named Complete MoisturePlus aroused a widespread worry about infection. The CDC reported that this product was seven times more risky than conventional products.

Bad hygiene is the major cause

Taking good lenses hygiene is the most effective way of avoiding Acanthamoeba Keratitis. And Acanthamoeba can be killed by rubbing off the lens surface.  But there are unhealthy factors that may cause this infection, such as using polluted tap or well water and homemade products to clean lenses, showering or swimming without removing your contact lenses, as well as using a dirty case. Nowadays, some users pay less attention to the contact lenses cleaning than removal, which also brings more Keratitis risk.

Terms of avoidance

Acanthamoeba Keratitis and eye infections can be significantly minimized if the wearer uses contact lenses properly. Some tips are simple, such as washing hands frequently, following doctors’ instructions, using recommended products rather than regular wetting or saline solutions, and regular lenses cleaning. They should never use tap water for cleaning. If customers like wearing lenses while swimming, airtight swim goggles are necessary for additional protection.

Your lenses cases also need equal care as lenses themselves. The first task evolves lens case cleaning. You can simply clean them using hot water or carefully brush them using disinfecting products, and then leave them air-dry. Sometimes, a weekly complete sterilization is needed, using hot boiling water or a microwave oven. Contact lenses should be replaced within every three months even with most frequent cleaning.