Contact Lenses and Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is a very common eye ailment that many of us experience at least one time in our lives. So much so that it is reported that nearly 40 million people per year will experience this discomforting and rather unsightly eye infection. So what is Conjunctivitis? Conjunctivitis is a swelling of the outer level of the eye and the top part of the inner eyelid. Many people who wear contact lenses on a regular basis are much more susceptible to this eye ailment then any one else. There are three main categories of conjunctivitis, which are allergic conjunctivitis, infectious conjunctivitis and chemical conjunctivitis. All of which still have one major factor involved, which is the unpleasant bright red color of the infected eye.

Allergic conjunctivitis effects those people who tend to have seasonal allergies. The conjunctivitis occurs when the person is exposed to some type of material that the person is allergic to, which then makes the eye swell up. One of these foreign material can be the pollen from the flowers. This usually occurs when the wind blows and the pollen particles are lifted into the air. Contact lens wearers can easily be affected by this because if the lens in the eye comes in contact with this substance it can cause intense irritation in the eye.

Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis is common among those people who wear contact lenses of all kinds. This condition is caused by the continuous presence of a foreign material in the body which then leads to this inflammation. This can occur when the person who wears contact lenses doesn’t clean them as much as they are supposed to. Although contact lens wearers can be easily susceptible to this eye condition, other people such as those who have glass eyes can also be susceptible to this eye infection.

Infectious Conjunctivitis is broken into three different categories which consist of bacterial, viral and ophthalmic conjunctivitis. These three components are similar because they can all be contracted from one person to another although in different ways

Bacterial conjunctivitis is can occur when a person comes in contact with staphylococcal or streptococcal bacteria that makes it way into the eye. The most common ways that this bacteria is transferred is through the use of old eye makeup, rubbing your eye with hands that are not clean and physical contact made with other people. People with contact lenses have to be especially careful by making sure they wash their hands many times throughout the day. By doing this they can lessen their chances of coming in contact with any harmful bacteria.

Viral Conjunctivitis is very similar to the common cold in regards to how it is contracted. When a person who has an upper respiratory infection and coughs or sneezes the virus can make it’s way into the air and into another person’s tear ducts, throat nose and mucus membranes.

The last form of conjunctivitis is chemical conjunctivitis which can be caused from exposure to substances such as chlorine and air pollution. These two foreign chemicals make their way into the eye and cause this irritation. It would be a good idea that those who wear any form of contact lenses take them out before using or coming into contact with any of these particular chemicals.

If you have been exposed to conjunctivitis don’t’ panic, it’s not the end of the world. Usually you can clear this up by drinking plenty of water and using eye drops. If it is a bacterial infection then a good idea would be to see your doctor to prescribe some antibiotics. In no time you will be back to normal.

Read more about Conjunctivitis here.

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