Keratitis refers to an
inflammation of the
cornea. Infection of the cornea is called infectious
keratitis. It is the most serious complication of contact lens wear and can
Bacterial keratitis is the most common type of
infectious keratitis. Overall, bacterial keratitis is among the least frequent
complications of wearing contacts. But it is much more common in people who wear the lenses
Even though the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has approved some extended-wear lenses for 30-day use, many eye doctors
recommend that people remove them every day.
In rare cases, viruses and fungi may
cause keratitis. A germ that is often present in tap water causes a form of
keratitis that is increasingly seen in contact lens wearers, especially those
with soft lenses.
Noninfectious causes of keratitis in contact
lens wearers include:
Injury (from a blow, scratch, or foreign
Chemicals, including those in contact lens
If you wear contact lenses and you have a painful, red eye,
you may have infectious keratitis. Remove your lenses, and call your doctor
immediately. You'll need antibiotic eyedrops to help treat the infection. Symptoms of bacterial keratitis may include:
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