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Contact lens infections

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Hello readers,

Today I write this article with a heavy heart. Recently, a young lady in her early 30s came to visit us.

She presented with intense pain in her right eye, bloodshot eyes and severe discharge. Her vision had deteriorated to only 5 per cent!{{more}}

We rushed to her assistance and I was really shocked to hear her story. Apparently, she bought her contact lenses online [how that happened without a legal prescription is beyond me]. She didn’t bother to use the recommended solutions. She did not even have a case in which to store the contact lenses. She used the original disposable package and the same solution for over six weeks!

Upon examination, we diagnosed a corneal ulcer. A swab was taken for culture and sensitivity. She was immediately put on antibiotics and antifungal eye drops, and we are monitoring her for improvement.

I must report that we are seeing more and more of these types of cases. We believe it is because of the following reasons:

1. People find ways of obtaining contact lenses unconventionally -usually online.

2. People feel that once they have obtained their contact lenses, they no longer need to check with their eye care practitioner.

3. They titrate their own prescription – I know of about six patients who just “guess” what their prescription is and send to order them.

4. Often, people do not learn the proper way to insert and manage their contact lenses. They ask their “friends” to show them how.

The incidence of contact lens infections around the world is becoming a major concern to eye care practitioners as more and more people turn to wearing contact lenses over spectacles.

When done properly, there should be no problems whatsoever. However, many are looking for shortcuts and cheaper options thus sometimes landing themselves in hot water.

The advent of colored contact lenses for fashion has led to an increased demand for contact lenses, especially among younger people. They sometimes will find ways to obtain them, often without prior education as to how to use them properly.

Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: [email protected]
Tel: 784 456-1210

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