Caring for your contact lenses
If you wear contact lenses, proper use, cleaning and disinfecting can help prevent keratitis. Follow these tips:
- Choose daily wear contacts, and take them out before you go to sleep.
- Wash, rinse and dry your hands thoroughly before handling your contacts.
- Follow your eye care professional's instructions for taking care of your lenses.
- Use only sterile products that are made specifically for contact-lens care, and use lens-care products made for the type of lenses you wear.
- Gently rub the lenses during cleaning to enhance the cleaning performance of the contact lens solutions. Avoid rough handling that might cause your lenses to become scratched.
- Replace your contact lenses as recommended.
- Replace your contact lens case every three to six months.
- Discard the solution in the contact lens case each time you disinfect your lenses. Don't "top off" the old solution that's already in the case.
- Don't wear contact lenses when you go swimming.
Preventing viral outbreaks
Some forms of viral keratitis, such as keratitis caused by the herpes virus, can't be completely eliminated. But the following steps may control viral keratitis recurrences:
Sept. 20, 2012
- If you have a cold sore or a herpes blister, avoid touching your eyes, your eyelids and the skin around your eyes unless you've thoroughly washed your hands.
- Don't use corticosteroid eyedrops unless they have been prescribed by a specialist knowledgeable about viral keratitis and the need for careful monitoring. Corticosteroid drops can increase your risk of developing viral keratitis and, if a viral infection does occur, they can make it more severe.
- If you wear contact lenses and have multiple recurrences of viral keratitis, discontinuing your use of contact lenses may decrease your risk of future recurrences. Discuss this option with your eye doctor.
- Mandell GL, et al. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-443-06839-3..X0001-X--TOP&isbn=978-0-443-06839-3&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- What is bacterial keratitis? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/bacterial-keratitis.cfm. Accessed Aug. 3, 2012.
- Yanoff M, ed., et al. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. Edinburgh, U.K.: Mosby Elsevier; 2009. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/212799885-2/0/1869/0.html. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Contact lens-related infections. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/contact-lens-related-infections.cfm. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Jacobs DS. Evaluation of the red eye. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- What is fungal keratitis? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/fungal-keratitis.cfm. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- What is herpes keratitis? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/herpes-keratitis.cfm. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Sugar A. Herpes simplex keratitis. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Facts about the cornea and corneal disease. National Eye Institute. http://www.nei.nih.gov/health/cornealdisease/. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Nicoll D, et al. Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2008. http://www.accessmedicine.com/pocketDiagnostic.aspx?type=5. Accessed Aug. 3, 2012.
- Free-living amebas. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/infectious_diseases/extraintestinal_protozoa/free-living_amebas.html?qt=free%20ameba&alt=sh. Accessed Aug. 3, 2012.
- Contact lens risks. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/HomeHealthandConsumer/ConsumerProducts/ContactLenses/ucm062589.htm. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/content.aspx?aID=9096708. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Comprehensive eye and vision examination. American Optometric Association. http://www.aoa.org/eye-exams.xml. Accessed Aug. 3, 2012.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Aug. 17, 2012.
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