Eye infections from improper contact lens use

Contact lens users have a higher risk of contracting eye infections. Lack of proper care of contact lenses and their improper use can cause mild to severe eye infections requiring immediate medical attention.

Types of eye infections from incorrect contact lens usage

There are different types of eye infections that can occur if you don’t follow proper medical guidance for contact lens use.

One of the most common types of eye infection amongst contact lens users is keratitis. It occurs in the cornea, which is the outer layer of the eye. Keratitis mostly occurs because of bacterial contamination, but can also present itself due to fungal or viral infections.

Eye injury such as minor scratches while wearing contact lenses can cause eye infections. Even if the injury or trauma in your eyes is because of other reasons, contact lens use can aggravate it and cause infections.

There is more risk of catching conjunctivitis as contamination can occur very easily.
Symptoms of eye infections

If you wear contact lenses and experience the following symptoms in your eyes, the right thing to do is to immediately see a doctor about the problem.

  • Redness
  • Itching
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Blurry vision
  • Thick eye discharge such as tears or a sticky substance
  • Watery eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Dry eyes
  • Any kind of discomfort
  • Avoiding eye infections from contact lens use
  • It is possible to keep eye infections at bay, if you follow proper protocol to clean and wear your contact lenses.

Clean your hands with soap before handling your contact lenses.

When you remove them, use a lens cleaning solution to disinfect the lenses. It is very important to not miss this step. After cleaning them, store your lenses in fresh solution. Throw out the remaining stale solution from the lens container and add fresh supply to it. Just adding extra solution to the remaining one in the lens container is one of the most common ways to invite infections in your eyes. It is also advisable to never reuse the cleaning solution.

Thoroughly clean your lenses before wearing them. This step is very important to remove any remaining contamination or dirt from your last use.

Also, regularly clean your lens case. It is best to replace it every few months or even earlier, if needed.

Always remove your contact lenses before you sleep. If you sleep while wearing your contact lenses, it reduces the supply of oxygen in your eyes. This makes your eyes more susceptible to getting bacterial infections. Sleeping in your contact lenses also increase the risk of injuries and abrasions in the eyes, further putting your eyes at a risk from infections.

Remove your contact lenses when in the swimming pool, shower and bath. Essentially, avoid contact with water while wearing your lenses to avoid eye infections. Pollutants or germs in the water and those present in pools and hot tub can infect the lenses.

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