Millions of people will agree that contact lenses are a great alternative to wearing glasses. While your contacts can be worn safely almost every day, they do put you at a higher risk for some eye infections. Some of these infections are serious enough that they could cause permanent damage to your eyes that can result in vision loss or even blindness.
Eye Infections Contact Wearers Are Prone To
Between 80 to 90% of infections related to contact lens use are bacterial. Staphylococcus aureus, which is a common and difficult to treat bacteria, is often the reason behind an eye infection.
There are several infections that contact wearers are prone to and should be aware of, including:
- Keratitis, which is an infection of the cornea that can be caused by bacteria, fungi, viruses, or a rare, but serious eye parasite.
- Conjunctivitis, also known as pinkeye, which is caused a virus or bacteria that has infected the membrane that covers the inside of your eyelids and the white part of your eye.
- Fungal infections, such as fusarium or aspergillus that can be caused by poor contact lens hygiene or trauma to the eye.
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a rapidly-growing bacterial infection that can cause a hole in your cornea and cause permanent scarring and vision loss.
How Can You Tell if You Have an Eye Infection?
The trick to preventing permanent damage or vision loss is to seek treatment as soon as symptoms appear, such as:
- Redness and irritation
- Blurry vision
- Light sensitivity
- Eye tearing or discharge
- Sensation that you have something in your eye
- Pain in your eye
Develop Good Habits to Prevent Infections
Most contact lens-related infections can be traced back to poor habits. You can prevent most infections by:
- Washing your hands before removing or putting your contacts in
- Avoiding rubbing your eyes
- Not sleeping with your contact lenses in
- Removing your contacts before swimming
- Replacing your disposable lenses as prescribed
- Storing and disinfecting your lenses properly
Remember, if you experience any signs of an eye infection, please discontinue using your contacts and schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. Call Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to make your appointment.