No Water On Your Lenses
The “No Water Campaign”
A campaign was launched in 2011 to raise awareness of the risks associated with using non-sterile water to clean contact lenses. Established by Irenie Ekkeshis, who lost the sight in her right eye after contracting a rare corneal infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis, the No water initiative won Campaign of the Year at the inaugural awards ceremony in London (June 2016).
In the video below, Irenie Ekkeshis talks about her successful “no water warning” campaign to help raise awareness of a disease that can affect people who wear contact lenses.
Water On Your Contact
Although rare, a sight-threatening eye complication, Acanthamoeba keratitis, is caused by an organism present in all forms of impure water, such as swimming pools, tap water and showers. That’s why it’s vitally important for contact lens wearers to remove their lenses before swimming and use appropriate solution to clean and disinfect lenses if they’re accidentally splashed. The many microorganisms that live in the water can easily stay on your lenses and cause you problems later.
Exposing contact lenses to water may increase the risk of different types of eye infections. One serious type of contact lens-related eye infection, Acanthamoeba keratitis, is caused by a microscopic ameba commonly found in water. Infection makes the clear outer surface of the eye become painful and inflamed and requires immediate attention. Even though infection from Acanthamoeba is rare, it can be difficult to treat and extremely painful and in the worst cases cause blindness. To prevent AK and other types of eye infections, good hygiene must be practiced while handling contact lenses.
Acanthamoeba keratitis is a more rare form of microbial keratitis and is a more severe form of infection and occurs in contact lens wearers who are otherwise fit and healthy.
Fungal keratitis can also occur with contact lens wear but occurs most often in people who sustain eye injuries from agricultural or gardening accidents, ocular surface disease and those with immunosuppression. This infection, like Acanthamoeba keratitis, is one of the severest forms of corneal infection that can occur in contact lens wear.
Download our Contact Lens Care Card with these recommendations and keep it in your lens care kit.
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