Wellness

Contact Lens Increase Eye Infection Risk

eyesight

People who wear contact lenses may have a higher risk of developing skin bacteria in their eyes new research shows. Some wearers don’t wash their hands before removing contact lenses, or rinse and store lenses in sterile solution before sleeping. These habits can lead to eye infections, according to Women’s Health magazine.

Corneal ulcers
A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the clear film over the iris (color part of the eye) and usually is not detected by the naked eye. It may take an eye doctor with a magnifying tool to detect it. A corneal ulcer may appear as a gray, white opaque or translucent area on the cornea. It may be caused by a:

  • bacterial infection
  • virus, such as herpes simplex or varicella
  • fungal infection due to poor care of lenses or overuse of steroid eye drops
  • tiny cut or scratch to the cornea surface that become infected
  • parasites
  • chemical burns
  • diseases that may damage the body’s immune system, such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus

Eyelid inflammation
A common, non-contagious disorder called blepharitis can be caused by a bacterial infection or skin ailments, such as rosacea or seborrhea. Blepharitis can cause inflammation to the eyelid and scales on the eyelashes. Oil glands across the eyelids can become irritated and thicken, causing:

  • natural oils to back up
  • tears to evaporate quickly
  • eyes to dry out

Treatment and prevention
Vision experts remind contact lens wearers to always:

  • wash hands thoroughly with soap and water to remove harmful bacteria from skin
  • wear certified protection eyewear when using power tools or strong chemicals
  • seek medical assistance when noticing any changes in your vision, eye color, eyelids or eyelashes

 

Sources:
Medicine Net
American Optometric Association

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