Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the clear membrane that covers the colored part of the eye (iris) and pupil of the eye. There are various types and causes of keratitis. Keratitis can take place in both children and adults. Organisms cannot generally invade an intact, healthy cornea. Then again, certain conditions can permit an infection to occur. For instance, a scratch can leave the cornea open to infection. A very dry eye can also decrease the cornea’s protective mechanisms.Acanthamoeba keratitis is becoming more prevalent amongst people who wear contact lenses, especially soft lenses. Acanthamoeba keratitis is an infection of the cornea caused by a minuscule water-borne ameba. People who are diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis frequently suffer corneal ulcerations, which can eventually lead to severe vision loss and blindness.
The organisms that trigger the infection can be found in most environments including domestic tap water, chlorinated swimming pools, hot tubs and bottled water. People’s nasal passages can also contain these organisms.
Risk factors for infection in contact lens wearers are:
- Use of tap water during lens care (to rinse lenses or the storage case)
- Wearing lenses while swimming (without goggles), showering or in hot tubs
- Use of ineffective lens care solutions
- Failure to follow lens care instructions
Bausch & Lomb Recall
On April 10, 2006, Bausch & Lomb announced suspension of shipments of its contact solution ReNu with MoistureLoc. Reports of fungal keratitis infections in users of the solution are surfacing in contact lens wearers who use ReNu with MoistureLoc.
Adults and children who wear contact lenses should on a regular basis use sterile lens-cleaning and disinfecting solutions. Tap water is not sterile and should not be used to clean contact lenses. It is important to go for follow-up checkups because small defects in the cornea can occur without the patient being aware of it. Do not overwear contact lenses. Remove them if the eyes become red or irritated. Replace contact lenses when scheduled to do so. Proteins and other things can deposit on the contacts, leading to an increased risk of infection. Rinse contact lens cases in hot water every night, if possible, and let them air dry. Replace contact lens cases every three months. Organisms have been cultured from contact lens cases.
Legal Help For Victims Affected By Acanthamoeba Keratitis
If you or a loved one wears contact lenses and you developed acanthamoeba keratitis or any other injury as a result of Bausch & Lomb Renu MoistureLoc saline solution, contact Parker & Waichman, LLP for a free case evalution by a qualified personal injury attorney. Call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or fill out the short form to the right.