Taking proper care of your contact lenses and using them properly in the first place are all factors which can prevent problems such as infections from occurring. However, sometimes, despite of all your efforts, eye problems may occur due to contact lenses, predominantly due to fungal infections.
Namely, many fungi are capable of creating their own biofilms, keeping themselves safe from the disinfectants you use with your contact lenses. Biofilm creation is a process where microorganisms produce a slimy material which they use to stick to each other, making themselves more resistant and persevering. As such, the fungi stick onto the surface of the lens, making themselves more capable of triggering infections, regardless of the exposure to disinfectants they endure.
Infection of the Eye is a Serious Medical Condition
Regardless of the cause behind it, infection of the eyes can be a very dangerous situation one can find him/herself in. In fact, in 2006, the US was a target of a great outbreak of fungal eye infections. According to the data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the middle of 2005 to the mid 2006, 33 states of the US had patients suffering from keratitis, a fungal infection of the eyes, through 154 individual cases. Moreover, almost all of these people, 94% of the total, were individuals using contact lenses.
Moreover, 34% of all people who experienced this form of fungal eye infection required cornea transplantation due to the fact that their situation was extremely severe. Additionally, out of all people who were experiencing these problems, those who used Baush + Lomb ReNu with MoistureLoc lenses were the most susceptible to eye problems of this type, about 20 times more than other contact lens users.
Since this was a serious problem, the FDA examined the production facilities of these lenses and found out that these were produced under inadequate conditions in terms of temperature, storage and transportation. Also, the disinfectant purchased together with these lenses was found to be insufficiently strong. Finally, by the end of 2009, the company was involved in about 600 lawsuits, paying $250 million for settlements.
Therefore, contact lenses can lead to eye infections of various types, even when you follow all the instructions. People need to be careful about the eye infections, stemming both from contact lenses and other sources since, in a majority of cases, these infections lead to irreparable eye damage.
In general, fungi rarely invade the eye, let alone damage it. Yet, when this happens, symptoms like eye irritation, appearance of discharge, swelling, pain, tearing and redness take place. Furthermore, this occurrence can result in clouding of the surface of the affected eye, vision loss or vision impairment and sensitivity to light.
Keep in mind that ignoring these problems will only make matters worse, potentially leading to vision loss or some other complications. Thus, do not neglect your eye health, seek medical assistance as soon as you notice any signs of fungal eye infections.
Contact Lenses Can Cause Eye Infections
Basically, some contact lenses are capable of triggering eye infections, like in the cases mentioned above, when these products are not made suitable for harmless use. However, you can be responsible for the eye infection caused by contact lenses too.
In order to avoid this, you are advised to keep your hands clean whenever handling lenses, washing them thoroughly. Also, keep the storage case where you place your lenses clean and change the solution inside the case fresh. When you are not using the case, clean it and leave it to dry before pouring the solution inside. The storage should be changed every three months or even more often, depending on your doctor's instructions.
Pay attention to your doctor's orders and follow them religiously. Namely, do not wear the lenses when you should not do so and do not use lenses which have expired or are unsuitable for your purposes.
Infections can take place due to various factors including ill-fitted lenses, inadequate lens care, lens damage, dry lenses or some other anomalies. All these situations can lead to infections since these will allow the harmful fungi or other microorganisms to reach the surface of your eye, causing damage and health problems.
Some of the infections that can take place under these conditions are allergic, giant papillary or toxic conjunctivitis, idiopathic superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis or viral infections like herpes.
So, if you are unsure whether you are wearing suitable contact lenses or if you start experiencing some worrying symptoms, seek medical assistance and have the problem sorted out timely. Remember, waiting will only make matters worse and potentially lead to damage beyond repair.
To sum up, eye infections are a much common scenario in people who wear contact lenses. Usually these infections appear due to faulty lenses or improper hygienic care of these items. Nevertheless, sometimes, other factors can be behind eye infections too.