Contact Lens Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Home Remedies, Prevention
What are Contact Lens Infections?
These days, people prefer to wear Contact Lenses instead of the usual prescription glasses. There are many advantages of Contact Lenses. Since it is not visible to the outside world, it does not affect the confidence of an individual with a vision problem. The other advantages of Contact Lenses are that they need not be put or taken off whenever one has to take a look at something as it is constantly in the eyes.
While there are many advantages of Contact Lenses there are also certain precautions that one needs to maintain. Since Contact Lens is a foreign object which has been placed in the body hence it is prone to infections. This is what we call as Contact Lens Infections.
There may be many causes for Contact Lens Infections which will be delineated below but if an individual has a Contact Lens Infection then it may cause severe irritation and pain in the eyes. Contact Lens Infections may make it difficult for an individual to clearly see due to blurred vision. It may make the eyes red and inflamed.
Hence it is always recommended for an individual to keep the Contact Lens clean and away from any dust or impurities that may accumulate on the lens in order to prevent Contact Lens Infections.
What are the Causes of Contact Lens Infection?
Contact Lens Infections may happen due to a variety of reasons. It may be caused due to accumulation of dust in the lens which may enter the eye when the lens is put and can cause an infection. In some cases, may be while putting on the lens it falls to the ground, especially in places like a washroom or a kitchen where the chances of pathogens like numerous bacteria and viruses are high then these pathogens may stick to the lens and thus enter the body when the lens is put without cleaning it thoroughly causing Contact Lens Infections. Come of the common causes of Contact Lens Infections are:
Inappropriate Cleaning of the Contact Lens Can Cause Infection: Most of the Contact Lens Infections are caused due to improper cleaning of the lens. Normal water carries with it numerous pathogens and hence when the lens is cleaned with normal water these pathogens may stick to the lens and may enter the body when the lens is placed in the eye. Hence it is recommended to clean the lens only with sterile water. It is also advisable not to wear Contact Lenses when in a swimming pool so as not to infect the lens and end up having Contact Lens Infection.
Using Lens When Sleeping: Sleeping with Contact Lenses on is another cause for Contact Lens Infection. The reason behind this is that when we sleep the lens does not get oxygen from the air as the eyes are closed for a prolonged period of time which increases the chances of Contact Lens Infection. Hence it is advisable to remove the lenses before going to bed each night without fail. If you need to use the restroom in the night you may use prescription glasses.
Application of Saliva: This is also one of the most common causes of Contact Lens Infection. People tend to lubricate the lens by using the saliva which invites pathogens to get stuck in the lens resulting in Contact Lens Infection. Try and use cleaning solution available in the market for cleaning purposes.
Prolonged Wearing: Prolonged wearing of Contact Lenses is also not recommended as it tends to cause dryness due to lack of appropriate lubrication of the eye. Prolonged wearing of Contact Lenses may also cause conjunctivitis.
Using Dirty Hands for Cleaning Lens: Contact Lens Infection can also be caused if an individual tries to clean the lens with a dirty hand or puts the lens in a dirty box as pathogens may infect the lens leading to Contact Lens Infection.
Not Washing Eyes Prior to Putting on the Lens: Putting on a lens without washing the eye thoroughly can also lead to Contact Lens Infection. This is because some impurities from the atmosphere may have penetrated the eyes and when the lens is put on it may stick to the lens causing Contact Lens Infection.
Makeup: This is also one of he common causes of Contact Lens Infection. This is because some of the makeup that has been put on the face may get into the lens resulting in the contents of the makeup being stuck to the lens which becomes difficult to clean and may also damage the lens and cause distorted vision and lead to Contact Lens Infection.
What are the Symptoms of Contact Lens Infections?
Some of the symptoms of Contact Lens Infections are:
- Contact Lens Infections can cause symptoms of swelling of the eyes due to accumulation of fluid in the eyes.
- In some cases of Contact Lens Infection, there may be symptoms of discharge from eyes which may have a yellow or white tinge to it.
- Pain in the eye is also one of the symptoms of Contact Lens Infection.
- Photosensitivity is also one of the symptoms of Contact Lens Infection to such an extent that an individual may find it difficult to venture out during daytime with the lenses on or look at the computer for a prolonged period of time.
- Eye itching and redness is also a presenting feature of an early Contact Lens Infection. If you have persistent eye itching when putting on the lens then it must be investigated by a skilled ophthalmologist
- Contact Lens Infections also tend to cause blurred or double vision along with dry eyes
- Prolonged use of contact lenses can cause a condition called as corneal abrasion which may hamper the vision quite dramatically.
What is the Treatment for Contact Lens Infections?
Coming to the treatment for Contact lens Infections majority of the infections caused by some type of bacteria can be taken care of by treatments with prescription antibiotic eyedrops and/or ointments. Patches or compresses can also be used for treatment of Contact lens Infections to allow the infection to clear up and prevent any further invasion of pathogens from the atmosphere. Viral infections due to contact lenses clear up most of the times on their own but in acute cases an anti-viral eyedrops may be recommended.
In some cases steroid eyedrops have also be used for treatment of Contact Lens Infections to take care of inflammation caused by the infection.
Oral antibiotics and anti-viral medications may be prescribed by the physician depending on the actual cause of the infection.
Apart from that there are also some simple home remedies to take care of Contact lens Infections which have shown to be effective and are delineated below.
Home Remedies for Contact Lens Infections
There are some simple home remedies to get rid of Contact Lens Infections. These home remedies are:
Lukewarm Water Solution: A simple home remedy of using lukewarm water to clean the eyes can do wonders in treating Contact Lens Infection. Take a clean cloth and dip it in lukewarm water. Take out the cloth and remove any excess water on it. Apply the cloth to the face for about 10-15 minutes. Do this two to three times a day. Within a couple of days there will be significant improvement in symptoms of Contact Lens Infection.
Salt Water Solution: Salt water can also be used as a home remedy for treating Contact Lens Infections. Take some warm water and add a spoon of salt to it. Left the water cool down. Take a cloth and dip it in the solution and apply it to the affected eye for 10-15 minutes. This needs to be done two to three times a day. Within a few days there will be significant improvement in symptoms of Contact Lens Infection.
Coriander Seed Solution: Take some coriander seeds and soak them in water. After some time, take a clean cloth and dip it in the solution and apply it to t he affected eye for about 10-15 minutes. This needs to be done two to three times a day. It will take about a week before you can see improvement in symptoms of Contact Lens Infection.
Ways to Prevent Contact Lens Infections
Contact Lens Infections are not something which cannot be prevented. If we are careful and handle the lens with care then there is no reason why Contact Lens Infections cannot be prevented. Below mentioned are some simple tips to prevent Contact Lens Infections:
Lens Change: It is recommended that you change your lenses every once in a while as lenses are often the right place for pathogens to enter the body and changing them once every few months can prevent this from happening and thus protect you from Contact Lens Infection.
Proper Storage of Lens: It is also extremely important as to how you keep the lens when not in use. It is advisable to keep them in a clean lid or a box so that no contaminant can reach it and thus prevent Contact Lens Infection.
Proper Cleaning of Lens: It is also important to clean the lens appropriately everyday so that any pathogen which may have clung on to the lens may be removed and hence prevent you from Contact Lens Infection. Also using a proper physician prescribed cleaning agent should be used for cleaning the contact lenses. Hydrogen peroxide is perhaps the best cleansing agent to prevent bacteria from clinging on to the lens and causing Contact Lens Infection.
Proper Usage of Lens: It is also important that the contact lens be used most appropriately that is only during working hours meaning that try and avoid using contact lenses at night during sleeping hours or while doing leisure activities like being in a swimming pool or a river or lake so as to prevent getting Contact Lens Infection.