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Contact Lens Fungus Infection Warning in US - Symptoms and Treatments - Severe Corneal Fungal Eye Disease Cases in United States

April 1st 2006

Contact Lens Fungus Infection Warning in US - Symptoms and Treatments - Severe Corneal Fungal Eye Disease Cases in United States

Eye Fungus

A warning has gone out to contact lens wearers concerning an outbreak of Fusarium keratitis, a severe corneal fungal infection that has recently been linked to soft contact lens use.  Doctors began seeing the infection in Asia but now, according to the Doctors of optometry from the American Optometric Association's (AOA) Contact Lens and Cornea Section have begun seeing the infection in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has acknowledging that they are investigating three cases of Optometrists in Florida and Iowa also have reported seeing similar cases in patients.  According to Jack Schaeffer, O.D. and chair-elect of the Contact Lens and Cornea Section of the AOA, "This recent news is cause for concern, but not for alarm. We want our patients to be aware that there is a problem out there and that the details are unfolding as we speak. We remain committed to protecting the eye health of Americans throughout this situation."


Experts are not sure whether these cases are directly related to the outbreaks in Asia.  Typically the treatment for Fusarium keratitis includes anti-fungal medication. In some cases, patients have reportedly experienced a significant loss of vision, resulting in the need for a corneal transplant. 

The symptoms of Fusarium keratitis include sudden blurred or fuzzy vision, red and irritated eyes lasting for an unusually long period of time, pain in and around the eyes, increased sensitivity to light and excessive eye tearing.  If you experience these symptoms you should contact your optometrist immediately.


According to the AOA, clean and safe handling of contact lenses is one of the most important measures Americans can take to protect their sight.  These are the Top 5 recommendations for clean and safe contact lenses:

     1. Carefully and regularly clean contact lenses, as directed by an optometrist and the patient information included with lens care products.

     2. Rub the contact lenses with fingers and rinse thoroughly before soaking the lenses overnight in enough multi-purpose solution to completely cover the lens.

     3. Store lenses in the proper case and replace the lens storage case every three months. Clean the contact lens case after each use and keep the case open and dry between cleanings.

     4. Use the proper products to clean and disinfect contact lenses as recommended by your optometrist. Remember that saline solutions and rewetting drops are not designed to disinfect lenses.

     5. Only fresh solution should be used to clean and disinfect contact lenses. Never re-use old solution. Contact lens solution must be changed everyday, even if the lenses are not used daily.


    When cleaning and wearing contacts you should:

    1. Not use cream soaps to clean contact lenses. Cream soaps can leave a film on the hands that can be transferred to the lenses.

    2. Never put contact lenses in the mouth or moisten them with saliva, which is full of bacteria and a potential source of infection.

    3. Don't use tap water or homemade saline solutions. Improper use of solutions has been linked to a potentially blinding condition among soft lens wearers.

    4. Never use contacts that have not been prescribed by an eye doctor.  Contact lens wearing is not an option for everyone; consult with an optometrist to see if it's an appropriate option.  For update to this story click here

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Keywords and misspellings: eye macular digeneration degeneration dijeneration dejeneration contack contack

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:50 PM