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Do Contacts Cause Eye Infections?

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Many first time contact wearer are concerned about the safety of their eyes. There is a misconception that contact lenses cause infection. However, this is not true when following your optometrist's instructions on how to clean and when to replace your contacts. Here are a few points to consider about the causes of eye infection and lenses.

Why Infections are a Concern

Improper care leads to developing numerous infections. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cornea infections send patients to the emergency room almost one million times each year. These infections can result in decreased eye vision and permanent scarring of your cornea.

It is also hard to correct this damage with contact lenses or glasses. If the infection becomes severe, then it may lead to needing a corneal transplant. A transplant also means having to take prescription eye drops for the rest of your life.

Keratitis and Pain

Keratitis is inflammation of the cornea. The cornea has a lot of nerves which makes an infection in this area very painful. It can also disrupt your daily routine and prevent you from working. Common causes may include wearing contact lenses while swimming, poor disinfection, use of homemade solutions for cleaning and storage, continuous or extended wear and poor contact lens fit.

Risk Factors

Certain risk factors may lead to developing infections, but are preventable. People who sleep with contact lenses are more likely to develop keratitis. Examples of other risks are smokers who wear contact lens and people who wear extended-wear lenses. After keratitis is diagnosed, it usually means using eye drops and not wearing your contacts for a while.


Infections are preventable with proper care. It starts with wearing lenses that properly fit. You want to clean the lenses and their storage cases. Some people also make the mistake of wearing their lenses past the prescribed timeframe. Daily disposable lenses are made for one time use and not to be worn multiple times.

It helps to develop good habits when it comes to preventing infection. You should wash your hands with soap and dry them off when handling your lenses. Dirty hands make it easy to spread bacteria when taking your lenses in and out your eyes.

Eye conditions related to infections are treatable. However, some infections can result in severe damage to the cornea. Wearing contacts do not cause infections, but improper care will lead to numerous doctor visits. (For more information, contact Vision Associates of Marlboro)