Eye Infections from Contact Lenses

Common Eye Infection from Contacts

Eye Infections from Contact Lenses

Switching to contact lenses provides significant advantages over traditional eyeglasses. Say goodbye to the discomfort of a frame on your face, enjoy greater ease in physical activities, eliminate issues like glasses fogging, and experience improved vision. Contact lenses offer a fantastic alternative to the inconveniences posed by eyeglasses.

Despite their convenience, contact lenses have some limitations. You can’t wear them constantly, and they may be pricier than eyeglasses. Additionally, neglecting proper cleaning and healthy habits may increase the risk of common eye infections from contacts. Strike a balance by enjoying the benefits of contact lenses while being mindful of their limitations and the importance of proper care.

Contact lenses enhance vision, but they also pose certain risks. Understanding the root causes of eye infections from contact lenses is crucial for effective prevention. From poor hygiene practices to extended wear, we’ll uncover the factors that contribute to these infections and offer insights on maintaining ocular health.

What causes contact lenses-related infections in the eyes?

Below are the major reason of eye infections from contacts:

  • Not cleaning or maintaining the contact lenses and the lens case properly
  • Topping up the contact lens solution over the old solution in the lens case
  • Reusing old lens solutions to store contact lenses
  • Sleeping with contact lenses on 
  • Having contact lenses while swimming in water in places like community swimming pool, lakes, etc.
  • Not cleaning your hands before applying contact lenses to your eyes

Let’s take a closer look at contact lenses and eye infections

Types of contact-lens infection or Keratitis

Recognizing the early signs of keratitis is key to safeguarding your eyes. We’ll explore the various types of keratitis, including:

  • Bacterial Keratitis

Bacterial eye infection from contacts, a prevalent corneal infection, occurs when bacteria infiltrate the cornea, leading to inflammation and potential vision issues. Common culprits, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, thrive in environments with poor contact lens hygiene, contaminated solutions, and corneal injuries. Recognizable symptoms include redness, pain, discharge, and blurred vision. Mitigating the risks associated with bacterial eye infections from contacts require strict adherence to hygiene practices, regular contact lens disinfection, and immediate attention to corneal injuries. Recognizing the signs and implementing preventive measures are crucial steps in safeguarding against this common ocular concern.

  • Fungal Keratitis

Fungal keratitis, a formidable corneal infection, emerges from environmental factors like exposure to fungi in soil, plants, or water. Trauma to the cornea, use of contaminated lenses or solutions, and compromised immune systems contribute to its occurrence. Symptoms encompass severe pain, photophobia, and blurred or hazy vision. To navigate the environmental risks tied to fungal keratitis, individuals should prioritize proper lens cleaning and storage, avoid contaminated water, and promptly treat corneal injuries. Understanding these hazards empowers proactive steps for maintaining clear and healthy eyes.

  • Parasitic/Amebic Keratitis

Parasitic or amebic keratitis, though rare, poses a serious threat to ocular health, caused by microscopic parasites, primarily Acanthamoeba. Exposure to contaminated water, poor lens hygiene, and homemade saline solutions contribute to its occurrence. Symptoms include severe pain, redness, and light sensitivity. Prevention involves steering clear of tap water in lens care, ensuring proper lens disinfection, and using commercially prepared saline solutions. Understanding the rarity and severity of parasitic keratitis emphasizes the need for meticulous lens care practices to ward off these potential ocular invaders.

  • Viral Keratitis/Herpes Keratitis

Viral keratitis, including herpes keratitis, stems from various viruses, notably the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The infection’s recurrent nature poses challenges. Causes encompass HSV and varicella-zoster virus (VZV). Symptoms include eye pain, tearing, and a foreign body sensation. To prevent viral keratitis, adopt hygienic practices to curb viral spread, ensure timely antiviral treatment, and manage underlying viral conditions. Recognizing the viral culprits equips individuals with the knowledge to implement effective preventive strategies and manage symptoms, promoting optimal eye health.

Symptoms of Contact lens eye infections

Following are among the common signs and symptoms of eye infection due to improper use of contact lens:

  • Red eyes: Noticeable redness in the eyes is a key indicator of a potential contact lens infection, requiring immediate attention.
  • Painful sensation: Persistent pain or discomfort, particularly while wearing contact lenses, may suggest an underlying infection that needs addressing.
  • Blurred vision: Sudden or ongoing blurry vision can be a symptom of a contact lens-related infection affecting the cornea.
  • Excessive tearing: Unexplained increased tearing, unrelated to environmental factors, may signal an underlying eye infection requiring investigation.
  • Light sensitivity (Photophobia): Difficulty tolerating light could be indicative of an eye infection associated with contact lens use.
  • Abnormal eye discharge: Any change in the color, consistency, or amount of eye discharge may be a sign of an infection linked to contact lens wear.
  • Itching or burning: Persistent itching or a burning sensation in the eyes could be symptomatic of a contact lens-related infection.
  • Eye or eyelid swelling: Infections may lead to swelling in the eye or eyelids, altering their normal appearance.
  • Feeling of foreign body: Sensation as if there is a foreign body in the eye may be a symptom of a contact lens-related infection.
  • Increased eye dryness: A sudden rise in eye dryness, unrelieved by lubricating eye drops, can be a warning sign of an infection linked to contact lens use.

Steps to prevent an eye infection from contacts Lenses

Below are some of the tips you must follow to prevent any eye infections from contact lens

  • Prioritize hygiene habits: Begin by washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water before handling your contact lenses, minimizing the risk of introducing harmful bacteria to your eyes.
  • Adopt rigorous cleaning practices: Clean your contact lenses diligently using the recommended disinfecting solution to eradicate potential pathogens and ensure optimal lens hygiene.
  • Adhere to replacement schedules: Stick to the prescribed replacement schedule for your contact lenses, preventing the accumulation of deposits and minimizing the risk of infections.
  • Steer clear of water exposure: Avoid exposing your contact lenses to water sources such as tap water, swimming pools, and hot tubs, reducing the likelihood of contamination by harmful microorganisms.
  • Follow wearing guidelines: Abide by the recommended wearing schedule provided by your eye care professional, and avoid wearing lenses for extended periods to promote overall eye health.
  • Proper lens storage: Use clean and suitable lens storage cases, regularly cleaning and replacing them to prevent the growth of bacteria and maintain a hygienic lens environment.
  • Regular eye check-ups: Schedule routine eye examinations with your eye care professional to monitor eye health, promptly addressing any potential issues.
  • Swift replacement of damaged lenses: Discard any torn or damaged lenses promptly to prevent irritation and minimize the risk of infections.
  • Avoid sleeping in lenses: Remove your contact lenses before sleeping, as prolonged wear can compromise oxygen flow to the cornea, increasing the risk of infections.
  • Consult professionals promptly: Seek guidance from your eye care professional if you experience discomfort, redness, or changes in vision, as these could be early indicators of an infection.

Diagnosing eye infections related to contact lenses and seeking consultation.

Consistent eye check-ups are essential to uphold peak eye health, particularly for those who wear contact lenses. These regular examinations help in detecting and diagnosing potential eye infections connected to contact lens usage, facilitating swift intervention and the avoidance of complications.

During an eye consultation targeting infections related to contact lenses, various tests and examinations are conducted:

  • Visual acuity test: Measures vision clarity, ensuring the current contact lens prescription suits the individual.
  • Slit-lamp examination: Provides a detailed view of the cornea and eye structures, identifying signs of infection, inflammation, or abnormalities.
  • Tear film assessment: Evaluates tear quality and checks for dryness exacerbated by contact lens wear, increasing infection risks.
  • Intraocular pressure test: Measures eye pressure, aiding in the diagnosis of conditions like keratitis impacting pressure.
  • Corneal staining: Uses special dyes to highlight corneal irregularities or damage, aiding in infection identification.
  • Microbial culture: In suspected infection cases, a sample may be taken for microbial culture to identify specific pathogens causing the infection.
  • Symptom and history review: A detailed discussion about symptoms, contact lens care, and past eye infections forms a comprehensive diagnosis.

Seeking professional guidance not only aids in accurate infection diagnosis but also allows for personalized recommendations and treatment plans. Regular consultations contribute to proactive eye care and maintaining clear, healthy vision for those who rely on contact lenses.

How to treat contact lens eye infection?

There are different steps involved in comprehensive contact lens eye infection treatment:

  • Expert consultation for precise diagnosis: Initiate treatment with a professional eye care consultation to ensure accurate diagnosis and tailored solutions.
  • Prescription medications for targeted relief: Depending on the infection type, receive precise prescriptions—eye drops, ointments, or oral antibiotics—to combat specific pathogens.
  • Lens modification guidance: Optimize lens wear by making adjustments like transitioning to different types or altering schedules to minimize recurrence risks.
  • Therapeutic warm compresses and lid hygiene: Alleviate symptoms and expedite healing for conditions like meibomian gland dysfunction with warm compresses and effective lid hygiene practices.
  • Hydration solutions for comfort: Ease dryness and discomfort linked to infections using preservative-free lubricating eye drops.
  • Temporary lens cessation for healing: In severe cases, temporarily cease contact lens wear to facilitate healing, with careful monitoring for a safe resumption timeline.
  • Education on hygiene best practices: Receive personalized guidance on effective cleaning routines, lens care, and preventive measures to minimize future infection risks.

Swift and informed action, coupled with professional advice, is crucial for successful treatment outcomes. If a contact lens infection is suspected, prompt consultation with an eye care professional is recommended. If you are facing any of the aforementioned eye problems, reach out to PLANET LASIK by Centre For Sight. Our eye specialists have several years of experience and expertise. 

Before you scroll away, let’s debunk some common myths related to contact lens

Eye infection from contacts : Myths vs. Facts

Not everything you may have heard or read randomly about contact lenses may stand. Thus, to clear the air, here are some common vs facts on contact lens:


Myth 1: Sleep-Friendly Lenses

Fact: Sleeping in lenses escalates infection risks. Remove lenses before sleep, unless designed for extended wear.

Myth : Tap Water Cleaning

Fact: Tap water isn’t suited for lens cleaning; it may harbor harmful microorganisms. Stick to recommended lens solutions.

Myth 3: Saliva as a Solution

Fact: Saliva isn’t a substitute for proper lens solutions. Its bacteria content increases the risk of infections.

Myth 4: Safe Tap Water Rinsing

Fact: Rinsing with tap water is unsafe; it may contain impurities. Opt for sterile saline or prescribed solutions.

Myth 5: Apparent Eye Infections

Fact: Some infections may lack immediate symptoms. Regular check-ups are crucial for early detection.


FAQs on Eye infection from contacts

Can I continue wearing my contact lenses if I suspect an eye infection?

If you suspect an eye infection, avoid wearing contact lenses and reach out to an eye specialist promptly. Continuing to use lenses may aggravate your eye problem. Prioritize your eye health for a speedy smooth recovery. 

Are there specific contact lens solutions that reduce the risk of infections?

Choose contact lens solutions designed for infection prevention. Opt for reputable brands with disinfecting features, and consult your eye care expert for personalized advice on maintaining optimal eye health. 

What are the potential complications if an eye infection from contacts is left untreated?

Untreated eye infections pose risks like corneal damage, vision loss or other complications. It is better to seek proper medical treatment to prevent unforeseen eye complications

Is it true that wearing contact lenses overnight can lead to infections?

Yes, wearing contact lenses overnight raises infection risks by limiting oxygen flow to the cornea. 

What should I do in case I suspect contact lens eye infections?

Remove lenses promptly and consult an eye doctor for guidance. Refrain from using lenses until you receive expert advice to prevent potential complications. 

Does PLANET LASIK offer modern solutions for those concerned about eye infections with contact lenses?

Yes, PLANET LASIK offers advanced solutions for contact lens users concerned about eye infections. Our eye specialists and surgeons use modern approaches, including LASIK, to enhance your vision and reduce reliance on lenses. Consult our eye experts for personalized advice. Trust PLANET LASIK for advanced eye health solutions.

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