Contact Lenses and the Flesh Eating Organism

Contrary to what some contact lens users may think, contact lenses are medical devices, and proper care and wear is crucial to maintaining long term health.

Eye care providers (ECPs) are familiar with a flesh eating micro-organism, Acanthamoeba that occurs with mixing water and contact lens use.  But it was not until Channel 9 news reporting a case of a 57 year old man losing his eye that Acanthamoeba became more known to contact lens users.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) published a report documenting contact lens wearers’ risky behavior.  50% of people surveyed said they have slept overnight in their contacts.  85% have showered in them, and 35% rinse their lenses in common tap water.

The Channel 9 news story and the CDC report reminds us of the importance of proper care and wear.  Poor contact lens care is similar to playing with fire, you may not get burned this time, but this does not mean you are safe for next time.  Remember Be RESPONSIBLE with Contact Lenses, you only have 2 eyes!

Here are some good contact lens tips and pointers:

  1. Use the appropriate contact lens solution recommended by your ECP. Contact lens manufacturers spend an enormous amount of money in R&D to make sure their solution is compatible with certain contact lens brands.

  2. You get what you pay for.  Purchasing Commercial store labeled solution does not mean that is safe or compatible with your contact lenses!

  3. Do not “top-off” contact lens solutions!  Dump out every time you take your contacts out.

  4. Do not rinse your contact lens case!

  5. Replace Peroxide cleaner vials often! The plate at the bottom neutralizes the peroxide cleaner, when this is worn out, there is no neutralizing!

  6. Do not sleep in contact lenses, unless your ECP tells you otherwise.  A low oxygen environment (when you close your eyes) coupled with a dark moist environment are a great breeding ground for micro-organisms.

  7. Do not expose your eyes and contacts to water, whether it is from the shower, tap, pool.

*Images and video used on this post do not belong to Eyetrending.  Image is from allaboutvision.com.

Dr. Anh Do and Dr. Anthony Huynh are experienced in fitting a variety of contact lenses, while reducing your exposure to germs, bacteria and allergens.  Contact us for more information or schedule your appointment online.

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