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Friday, October 23, 2015

DID YOU KNOW THAT CONTACT EYE-LENSES CAN ALTER BACTERIA IN THE EYE?



 Wearing contact lenses may change the community of bacteria living in your eyes, according to a small new study. In the study, the surface of the eye in the people who wore contact lenses had triple the proportion of certain bacteria species, on average, compared with the people in the study who did not wear the lenses, researchers found.

Moreover, the researchers found differences in the composition of the bacterial community on the surface of people's eyes. In the people who wore contact lenses, this composition more closely resembled the bacteria on the individuals' eyelids, as compared to the non-wearers. The study included about nine people who wore contacts and 11 who did not.


The research clearly shows that putting a foreign object, such as a contact lens, on the eye is not a neutral act. More research is needed to examine whether these changes in eye bacteria come from fingers touching the eye, or whether the pressure of a contact lens somehow alters the immune system in the eye. The findings that would come after the proper research may shed some light on "the long-standing problem of why contact-lens wearers are more prone to eye infections than non-lens wearers.

Since the introduction of soft contact lenses in the 1970s, there has been an increase in the prevalence of corneal ulcers, which are sores on the transparent covering of the eye. One type of bacteria that may cause corneal ulcers, called Pseudomonas, was more abundant in the eyes of people who wore contacts. Because these bacteria may come to the eyes from the skin, people should pay close attention to eyelid and hand hygiene to avoid getting corneal ulcers

More studies need to be conducted to see how exactly these differences in bacterial composition may affect eye health. Millions of people wear contact lenses, and even though these individuals may have an altered bacterial community in the eye, most do not experience complications related to wearing the lenses, however, when such complications do occur, they are quite serious. There are simple steps that all contact-lens wearers can take to prevent potential complications from wearing the lenses, "Wash your hands, change your lens solution every day, keep your lens case clean," People  using daily lenses, which need to be changed every day, should not keep wearing the same lenses for several weeks.

Individuals should also visit their ophthalmologists regularly to check on their eye health. And if lenses feel uncomfortable, the wearers should take them out and consult their ophthalmologists. If something does not feel right, it means that it is not right.

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