When tiny parasites called acanthamoeba infect the eye.

Symptoms

redness and eye pain after removing contact lenses, tearing, light sensitivity, blurred vision, feeling like something is in your eye, and possibly a“ring like” ulceration of the corneal tissue. Difficult to diagnose because symptoms are similar to pink eye, but the keratitis diagnosis is often given if condition proves resistant to antibiotics.

Causes

Wearing dirty contact lenses, using contaminated tap or well water to clean contact lenses, storing or cleaning contact lenses in a homemade solution and wearing contact lenses in a hot tub, pool, or in the shower, can all increase the risks. Some scientists prophesize that new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency regulations reducing carcinogens in the water supply may have boosted microbial risks, increasing the likelihood of finding Acanthamoeba in the water. Other researchers say the introduction of “no-rub” solutions has resulted in less effective cleaning and disinfection.

Photos

Treatment

Reduce Risks:
1. Follow doctor’s directions for the care and cleaning of your contact lenses.
2. Never use tap water to clean your contact lenses.
3. Do not swim, shower or hot tub while wearing contact lenses, without goggles.
4. Soak contact lenses in fresh disinfecting each night.
5. Wash hands before handling contact lenses.
6. Always clean contact lenses immediately upon removal.

See a doctor immediately if you think you may have Acanthamoeba Keratitis – early diagnosis is key. Your doctor can treat the infection with different kinds of prescription eye medications – combination therapy, using two or three biocides as well as antibiotics is a standard treatment for Acanthamoeba. (this info from http://www.ehow.com/how_5670003_treat-acanthamoeba.html)