New Study Finds Poor Handwashing Can Lead to Eye Disease in Contact Wearers

A new study from the Centre for Ocular Research & Education (CORE) reminds wearers of contact lenses in Orlando how important it is to wash their hands well before putting in or taking out their contact lenses. While the study says that using daily disposable contact lenses reduces the chances of diseases to the eye, it does not eliminate these diseases from occurring altogether.

What is Microbial Keratitis?

One of the diseases that can result from poor handwashing, according to the report, is microbial keratitis. This disease causes infection of the cornea’s covering. A person may notice that their eyes are painful and red and that they tear or discharge frequently. Many patients also exhibit sensitivity to light or blurred vision.

How is Microbial Keratitis Diagnosed?

Microbial keratitis is diagnosed by seeing an eye doctor like those found at EYES of Winter Park. If the doctor suspects that this disease may be the problem, then he takes a small scraping from the cornea and sends it off to a lab to be analyzed. Since it can be an emergency, if your doctor recommends that you go for further checking, then make sure to go as soon as possible because you may lose your sight otherwise.

How is Microbial Keratitis Treated?

Microbial keratitis is normally treatable if it is caught early before unrepairable damage is done to the cornea. Therefore, you need to see your eye doctor as soon as you suspect that a problem is present. The doctor may recommend a monotherapy fluoroquinolone along with an antibiotic.

How to Prevent Microbial Keratitis?

While it is not possible to prevent all cases of microbial keratitis, good handwashing techniques can help. Follow these simple steps every time before you touch your contact lenses:

  1. Turn on the water and wet your hands. It does not matter if the water is hot or cold.
  2. Turn off the water. Apply soap to your hands and scrub for at least 30 seconds. Singing Happy Birthday twice helps you scrub for the right amount of time.
  3. Turn back on the water and rinse your hands under clear running water. Point your fingers down into the sink so that germs will flow away with the water.
  4. Use a towel to dry your hands without touching anything else.
  5. Use another paper towel to turn off the water.

Follow this simple five-step procedure before you touch your contacts every time. Try to handle your contacts as little as possible. If your eyes are irritated, then do not put in your contacts until the irritation goes away.

According to a new scientific study, improper handwashing is the prime cause of microbial keratitis in the eye. Therefore, wearers of contact lenses in Orlando should be sure to wash your hands well every time you touch your contacts. If you have any questions, then contact the professionals at EYES of Winter Park.

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