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. 10, 2015
- 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, these drops 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 recurrences. Discuss this option with your eye doctor.
- What is baceterial keratitis? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/bacterial-keratitis.cfm. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- Basics of bacterial keratitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/bacterial-keratitis.html. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- Jacobs DS. Evaluation of the red eye. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- Bacterial keratitis preferred practice pattern — 2013. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.aao.org/preferred-practice-pattern/bacterial-keratitis-ppp--2013. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- DeLoss KS, et al. Complications of contact lenses. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- Yanoff M, et al. Noninfectious keratitis. In: Opthalmology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- Protect your eyes. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/protect-your-eyes.html. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- Basics of HSV (Herpes Simplex Virus) Keratitis. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/contactlenses/viral-keratitis.html. Accessed June 28, 2015.
- What is herpes keratitis? American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/herpes-keratitis.cfm. Accessed Aug. 1, 2012.
- Robertson DM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. July 10, 2015.