Safe Water Safe Eyes?

We take it for granted that our water supply is treated, is healthy and above all safe.

Ever heard of Acanthameba? You will find them in any water source, treated or untreated.

They are minute amoeba that can feasibly infect your eye.  The infection called Acanthamoeba Keratitis is most common amongst contact lens wearers.

A major threat to contracting the infection is using contaminated household water on contact lenses, attempting to use homemade saline solution and wearing your lenses while swimming, bathing or showering. Proper lens care is vital to reduce the risk.

If your eyes show signs of tearing, or you experience pain or discomfort once your lenses have been removed, blurred vision during or after wear or visible redness, you may have contracted the infection.

A  visible white "ring" covering the iris, as well as redness in the whites of the eye are symptoms of advanced Acanthamoeba keratitis. Be cautious that you do not mistake the symptoms for pink eye or other infections. An eye doctor should be consulted although the condition can be difficult to diagnose for this reason.  The infection  resists antibiotics and this is usually the marker for correct diagnosis.  An ulcerated ring on the cornea is a most severe symptom and if left untreated for too long can result in permanent loss of vision. Corneal transplants are offered should the extreme symptoms threaten vision loss. Only follow your opticians after care advice.

Do not use tap water to cleanse your contact lenses. Try not to bathe or shower whilst wearing them and if you swim use goggles and dispose of your lenses after the activity.

Don't use a cleansing solution that isn't intended for disinfection and always cleanse in fresh solutions daily.

Before handling your lenses always wash your hands.

 Prevention is the best defence against Acanthamoeba keratitis.  Keep to good hygiene when cleansing and consult your optician if you experience any symptoms.