Preventing Acanthamoeba Keratitis

WHAT IS ACANTHAMOEBA KERATITIS?

Acanthamoeba Keratitis is a rare but serious diseases caused by the species amoeba, in which the transparent front of the eye called the Cornea is infected, if left untreated it may result in permanent vision impairment or blindness. Acanthamoebas amoeba are common in nature and can be found in lakes and oceans, soil, and air.

 

COMMON SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Eye pain
  • Red eye
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensation of something in the eye
  • Excessive tearing
  • Permanent vision impairment or blindness

 

HOW IS ACANTHAMOEBA KERATITIS DIAGNOSED?

Diagnosis is usually based on;

  • Symptoms presentation.
  • Growth of the species from scraping of the eye, and/or
  • Confocal microscopy – involves seeing the species amoeba through the microscope.

 

PREVENTING ACANTHAMOEBA KERATITIS

Environmental factors and poor hygiene may contribute to infection of the eye. The risk of Acanthamoeba keratitis can be reduced by;

  • Visiting your eye care provider for regular examinations.
  • Wearing and replacing contact lenses according to the prescribed schedule by your eye care provider.
  • Removing contact lenses before any activity involving contact with water, including showering, using a hot tub or swimming.
  • Washing hands with soap and water and dry before handling contact lenses.
  • Cleaning contact lenses according to the instruction from your eye care provider and manufacturer’s guidelines.
  • Replacing storage cases at least once every three months.

 

SUMMARY

Acanthamoeba Keratitis is a rare but serious diseases caused by the species amoeba, in which the transparent front of the eye called the Cornea is infected, if left untreated it may result in permanent vision impairment or blindness. Acanthamoebas amoeba are common in nature and can be found in lakes and oceans, soil, and air. Symptoms when infected may include eye pain, red eye, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, sensation of something in the eye, excessive tearing, permanent vision impairment or blindness. Acanthamoeba Keratitis is common in people who wear contact lenses, and can be treated with one or more prescription medications.

 

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