CONTAT LENS USER

ALWAYS PRIORITIZE THE HEALTH OF YOUR EYES

Understand the dos and don’ts of using contact lenses to prevent Acanthamoeba Keratitis.

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Why can’t I swim, shower, hot tub, etc. in my contact lenses?

This puts you at much higher risk of getting Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK), a devastating eye infection.

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What is Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK) ?

Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK) is an amoeba that can be found in water and be absorbed by your contact lens when in contact with water, eating away your cornea.

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What are the symptoms of Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK)?

You may experience some of these symptoms:

Low pain to excruciating pain, redness, low to extreme light sensitivity, blurry to severe vision loss, foreign body sensation (like sand or eye lash in your eye), excessive tear production, headache and / or inability to wear contact lenses.

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But isn’t Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK) rare?

For the general population, it is a rare condition. For contact lens users who expose their lenses to water, it is much more common.

The incidence of Acanthamoeba Keratitis is increasing amongst contact lens users. Approximately 150 million people using contacts for medical or cosmetic reasons, including daily, weekly, and monthly users), it can affect anyone.

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But I can’t see without my contact lenses?

For people with lower prescriptions, it is worth the tradeoff to deal with slightly blurry vision. For people with higher prescriptions, refractive surgery could be a beneficial option. There are several ones, one of them involves implanting a contact lens in your eye, eliminating the need for external correction.

You can also consider getting prescription swim goggles.

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I exposed my lenses to water, what symptoms should I look out for? What should I do?

SYMPTOMS MAY INCLUDE: pain, red eye, foreign body sensation, blurry vision, sensitivity to light.

REMOVE YOUR CONTACT LENSES and store them in their contact lens case. Remember to bring them with you to your appointment.

SEE YOUR EYE DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY and make it clear that you exposed your contact lenses to water. It is crucial that you ask your doctor to rule out AK before starting any medication, particularly corticoids or steroids If available, advocate for an early confocal scan to confirm the diagnosis. Time is of the essence!

CL USER DO’S

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Which "Dos" to help prevent AK?

  • Consider switching to daily contact lenses, if possible, which are generally safer, healthier, and more hygienic for your eyes
  • Replace your contact lens case monthly or advised by your eye doctor
  • Replace your lenses regularly as advised by your eye doctor (daily, monthly, etc.)
  • Wash, rinse and completely dry your hands before you handle your contact lenses.
  • Clean, rinse, and disinfect your contact lenses with solutions every time you remove them.
  • Remember to bring your solution, contact lens case, or extra pair of daily lenses when leaving home or traveling.
  • If your eyes show redness, irritation, pain, or vision changes, remove contact lenses and consult an ophthalmologist inmediately.
  • If you plan on wearing makeup, insert contact lenses before applying makeup and remove them before taking off your makeup.

CL USER DON’TS

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Which "Don'ts" to prevent AK?

  • Do not expose your contact lenses to ANY form of water (shower, hot tub, pool, lake, ocean, etc.).
  • Do not sleep in your contact lenses unless specifically advised by your eye doctor
  • Do not use saliva, tap water, or any other solution to store you contact lenses besides an approved solution recommended by your eye doctor
  • Do not wear your contact lenses past the recommended time.
  • Do not share, let anyone touch your contact lenses nor wear them.
  • Do not refill old solutions. Always use a fresh solution in a clean contact lens case.