Acanthamoeba keratitis

With warm summer months approaching, it’s important we review and especially follow contact lens safety. In general, if worn properly, contact lenses can be successfully worn without any complications.

One major complication we see at The Eye Center is keratitis. Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, which at times can be infectious and involve bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. An important factor we need to consider to avoid keratits is keeping your contact lenses away from water. This means you should not be showering or swimming in your lenses. Water from the ocean, pools or sink for example, can introduce germs into the eyes through the lenses.

Acanthamoeba keratitis, first discovered in 1973, is a rare but visually impairing parasitic infection most commonly occurring in contact lens wearers. This vision-threatening parasite is mainly found in tap water or lake water and can lead to extreme pain and permanent vision loss.

Patients who are active swimmers or take part in water sports should use prescription goggles rather than wearing their contact lenses while on the water. If for any reason water does come into contact with your lenses, make sure to throw it out and use a brand new one. Any symptoms such as eye pain, redness, blurred vision, or light sensitivity (to name a few) should be reported immediately to your doctor.

Stay safe friends! Wear your lenses properly and don’t forget about your sunglasses!