Contact lenses have made our lives easier by giving us “20/20 vision” without having to wear a pair of glasses. With this great freedom comes great responsibility, and failure to take care of our lenses could potentially lead to blindness. In Gross Science’s latest video, “What’s Living On Your Contact Lenses?” host Anna Rothschild explains that contact lens wearers are more susceptible to having organisms like bacteria, fungi, and amoebas “eat” our eyes out because extensive lens use can easily trap them in our eyes.
Our eyes have developed lightning quick defences to kill germs that land on them. These defences are so strong that scientists studying the human eye are starting to learn new information for how to keep other parts of our body pathogen-free. However, these germs are extremely prevalent because of their ability to adapt to a new environment, like our lenses.
To make matters worse, when we remove our lenses and leave them to soak, they could be exposed to bugs that can survive antimicrobial solutions. Eventually these superbugs might start eating their way through our cornea.
If discomfort is felt in the eye and it feels like there’s something stuck there, Gross Science recommends that the lens be taken out. If this feeling persists, we should keep those lenses out of our eyes and let the doctor know. If we wait too long, our body’s inflammatory response can kick in which can cause its own damage. In fact, sometimes the inflammation, and not the amoeba, is what will finally cause the blindness, known as microbial keratitis.
This only affects 0.2 percent of people who wear contact lenses on an extended basis. Scientists are studying how to prevent it all together, but in the meantime, wearing the type of lenses that you throw out at the end of each day, like single day use lenses, could help reduce the odds of infection.
Source: Medical Daily