CONTACT LENS COMPLICATIONS
While contact lenses are safely used by millions of people every day, they can carry a significant risk of eye infection. The most common infection related to contact lens use is infective keratitis
Prompt diagnosis and treatment of infective keratitis is necessary to avoid permanent visual loss from complications such as corneal scarring. Treatment, depending on the offending organism involved, involves the use of antibacterial, antifungal, or antiviral eye drops, or in some cases, oral or intravenous medications.
SYMPTOMS AND SIGNS
Factors that contribute to a contact lens-related infection include:
- Use of extended-wear lenses
- Sleeping with contact lenses on your eyes
- Reduced tear exchange under the lens
- Environmental factors, e.g. the use of contact lens whilst in the swimming pool
- Poor hygiene, including poor maintenance of contact lens cases or reusing or topping off contact lens solution
REDUCING YOUR RISK
- Wash your hands thoroughly when taking out and inserting contacts
- Clean and disinfect your lenses properly according to the labeling instructions.
- Do not “top-off” the solutions in your case. Always discard all of the left over contact lens solution after each use. Never reuse any lens solution.
- Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water. Never use non-sterile water (distilled water, tap water or any homemade saline solution). Tap and distilled water have been associated with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a corneal infection that is resistant to treatment and cure.
- Remove your contact lenses before swimming. There is a risk of eye infection from bacteria in swimming pool water, hot tubs, lakes and the ocean
- Replace your contact lens storage case every 3 months or as directed by your eye care professional.
- Do not wear contacts for longer than recommended or overnight