Contact lenses can be a fun and convenient alternative to eyeglasses. So fun and convenient, in fact, that some people want to wear their contacts all the time. Unfortunately, this minimizes necessary contact lens maintenance. If you’re not caring for your contacts and cleaning them properly, you have an increased chance of contracting an eye infection.
Contact lens wearers are at a higher risk for getting keratitis, which is an infection of the cornea. This is usually caused from lack of oxygen to the cornea and a build-up of fungus in the contact lens.
Sometimes these eye infections transpire even if you do care for your contacts as you are supposed to. Some people actually have an allergic reaction to the contacts themselves.
Eye infections are very common and can affect anyone, including those who do not wear contacts. If you have any of the following symptoms, you should make an appointment to see your local eye doctor.
Signs that you may have an eye infection:
- Redness: You may notice redness in the white of the eye and/or around the outside of the eye.
- Swollen Eyelids: You may see swelling all around the eyelid, or a swollen bump in the corner of the eyelid.
- Tears: In the case of an eye infection, you may notice your eye is watering much more than normal.
- Eye Discharge: You may notice a yellow or green “gunk” in the corner of your eye.
- Light Sensitivity: An infection in the cornea or inflammation of the iris can create a temporary intolerance to light.
- Itching or Burning: Eye infections can cause a lot of itching or even a burning sensation in the eye
- Eye Pain: Some types of eye infections can cause pain in the corner or other parts of the eye.
- Involuntary Blinking: Some infections create a feeling that something is in the eye, causing more blinking than usual.
A few ways to avoid eye infections are washing your hands before and after you rub your eyes, keeping all pillowcases washed, properly disinfecting contact lenses, and not sharing eye products with anyone. If you suspect that someone in your home may have an eye infection, please visit us at Michigan Eye Institute to find a list of our patient services or to schedule an appointment.