New research reveals that wearing reusable contact lenses can lead to a rare infection that leads to vision loss. This could mean a change of habits in thousands of people who use this accessory daily.
According to research published in the journal Ophthalmology , people who wear multi-use contact lenses are nearly four times more likely to develop a blinding corneal infection than people who wear disposable contact lenses. The researchers found that reusing them and wearing them overnight or in the shower increases the risk of acanthamoeba keratitis.
Scientists say there has been a rise in cases of the rare eye infection, acanthamoeba keratitis, in Europe. Although it is a rare disease, it can be prevented. In principle, this accessory for viewing without glasses is very safe, but there is a small risk.
Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare infection of the eye. This infection can result in permanent blindness. It is caused by Acanthamoeba, a free-living microscopic amoeba. Symptoms can last from several weeks to months and differ from person to person. Eye pain, redness, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, a feeling of something in the eye, and excessive tearing are symptoms of infection.
Due to the resistant nature of the cyst, the infection can be difficult to treat. A topical cationic antiseptic agent or chlorhexidine are usually the current treatment. Keep in mind that the doses of these medications must be determined by a doctor.
Change reusable lenses for disposable
More than 200 patients from a London hospital took part in the study. Eighty-three people with corneal infections were included and compared with 122 people who visited the clinics for other reasons. The researchers found that people who wore reusable soft lenses were 3.8 times more likely to develop acanthamoeba keratitis than those who wore daily disposable lenses.
It was concluded that switching from reusable to daily disposable lenses could prevent between 30 and 62% of eye infections. Contact lens wear is the leading cause of corneal infection in healthy-eyed patients living in the northern part of the world.
According to experts, in developed countries, the disease affects one in 33 contact lens wearers . Certain habits, such as improper storage and handling, can increase the risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis in people who use them.
The condition can be avoided by ensuring that the case is always filled with fresh solution and not sleeping with your lenses in. It is also important to use and replace them according to the ophthalmologist’s instructions.