Since few decades contact lens has become a new trend in eye wear. Many people regard it as a blessing as it can be substituted with annoying eyeglass frames on the face. Some people feel boost in their self esteem after wearing contact lens in place of glass frames. Aside from this, lenses also provide clear and comfortable vision. Having said about many benefits of contact lens, it is also essential to remember that lenses are medical device.
There is high risk of contact lens infection which may put your vision under threat.Poor cleaning techniques, overnight wearing of lens, use of lens after its expiry date, are some of the factors that may increase the risk of corneal damage and resultant eye infection.
Improper use of contact lens can cause keratitis, an infection of cornea. Pathogens such as bacteria, fungus and virus lurking on the corners of contact lens cases or under the fingernail may infiltrate in the compromised cornea. Keratitis can impair the vision and lead to blindness.
If you are using contact lens and having redness, increased tears, scratchy feeling in eye, blurry vision, than it might be an eye infection which needs immediate medical attention.
How Do Contact Lenses Cause Infection?
Contact lens infection is one of the most dreaded complications. A person is more susceptible to develop it if he does not take precaution while wearing it. Improper use of contact lens can harm your eye and increase the risk of infection. The condition is called keratitis. Harmful pathogens can seep inside the damaged cornea to cause infection.
Following factors increase the risk.
- Wearing lenses for a long period of time.
- Wearing it overnight.
- Wearing contact lens while swimming in pools or natural water reserves.
- Poor cleaning habit.
- Wearing lens beyond the prescribed time limit mentioned on the box.
- Scratch on cornea while wearing the lens.
- Patient suffering from dry eyes.
- Working in windy and dusty atmosphere.
- Handling lens without washing hands.
Symptoms Of Eye Infection From Contact Lenses
If you are wearing eye lens and experience following symptoms, you may be having eye infection caused due to contact lens.
- Severe redness of eye.
- Severe pain in eye.
- Increased sensitivity to light.
- Yellow discharge from eyes.
- Feeling of foreign body in eye.
- Scratchy feeling in eye.
- Blurred vision
- Itching in eyes
- Dry eyes
- Swollen eyes
- Watery eyes
- Loss of vision
Most contact lens eye infections are caused due to bacteria. Fungus infections are rare. Among the bacterial infection, pseudomonas aeruginosa, staphylococcus aureus are most common pathogens associated with contact lens eye infection.
How To Cure Eye Infection From Contact Lenses?
If you suspect eye infection is caused due to use of contact lens, the first step is to stop wearing them even before you consult your ophthalmologist.
Do not throw the lens or solution. Keep the lens in eye solution and take the lens and solution with you when you consult the doctor. It is essential to determine if the condition has occurred due to lens. Your doctor may need to inspect the solution.
After examination your doctor will prescribe antibiotic eye drops. You may need to put these drops frequently. Your doctor may also recommend use of steroid eye ointment.
If the infection is detected in its early period, vision may be preserved. However, if the central part of cornea is affected by infection there may be slight decrease in vision even with medications.