A recent study from NYU Langone Medical Center could explain the rise in corneal ulcers and other infections ,since the introduction of Contact Lenses.
Although the study had a small batch of subjects, nine daily contact lens users and eleven non-users, its findings can be crucial in the understating of bacterial developments in the eyes.
Due to contact between the skin on your hands and the lens, previous to application, some of the bacteria could be transferred to your eyes. Transferring bacteria between environments is always risky since each organ has a built-in defense system only for what the body expects to normally encounter.
The pressure of daily contact lens use could also be a cause for bacterial development, altering the immune system and thus changing the pattern of bacteria that are normally allowed or suppressed.
The study researchers, are hoping to conduct future experiments. The ultimate goal is to determine the cause of so many new cases of eye infections in contact lens wearers. it could be due to pressure from the contacts or direct transfer of bacteria from the skin or both, and there are some other possiblities as well.
For now the study concluded that the group of subjects that were daily contact lens users, had a different array of bacteria from non-users. This different bacteria found on the eye surface was very similar to skin bacteria found under the eye.
Every year, almost one million Americans report eye infections and inflammation. This adds up to almost 175 million dollars in direct medical costs according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the study result only analyzed bacteria found on the eye surface, the causes have not been properly analyzed, yet. Further experiments will probably continue to investigate deeper into bacterial enviroments in the eye.Researchers explained that “Our results do not show causation, but association”.
Until further information is available however, we do know some of the definite causes of eye infections and inflammation experienced by contact lens users. If proper hygiene is observed before application and contact lenses are kept according to the doctor’s instructions, the risk is lowered.
As with any other medical setup, following the doctor’s advice to the letter as well as the manufacturer’s instructions decreases the chance of side-effects and unwanted repercussions.
Image Source: eyecandys.com