Reusable contact lens wearers are more likely to develop an uncommon eye infection, according to a study.

Reusing contact lenses is nearly four times more likely to experience a rare sight-threatening eye disease than those who use disposable lenses . Acanthamoeba is responsible for around half of the sight loss that occurs with contact lens infections .

London (UK), September 23: A study by a consortium of researchers shows that reusable contact lenses are nearly four times more likely to experience a rare sight-threatening eye disease than those that use daily disposables, including reusing them or using them overnight or in the shower.Since almost 300 million people use contact lenses around the globe, it is vital that people understand how to minimize their chances of developing keratitis.In countries that have otherwise healthy eyes, contact lens use is now the leading cause of microbial keratitis.Although a rare disorder, Acanthamoeba is one of the most common and responsible for around half of the sight loss that occurs with contact lens infections.

Following the disease, the most severely ill patients (about a quarter of the population) lose less than 25% of vision or go blind, and they must endure prolonged therapy.To cure the disease or restore vision, 25% of people who are affected by the disease need corneal transplants.The researchers compared over 200 participants of Moorfields Eye Hospital who completed a survey, including 83 individuals with AK, to 122 people who had other symptoms and who were a control group.People who wore reusable soft contact lenses (such as monthlies) had 3.8 times the chance of developing AK than those who wore normal disposable lenses.

Reusing their lenses increased the likelihood of infection among regular disposable users, according to the study.The risk of AK is decreasing in the United Kingdom, according to a new report by Professor Dart.According to the first author, Associate Professor Nicole Carnt (UNSW, Sydney, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Hospital), incidence rates for the study period 1985 to 2016 increased from eight to ten cases per year, to between 36 and 65, bringing the overall figure to 38 to 65.Public pools and coastal authorities may help reduce this danger by advising against wearing contact lenses, especially because many people buy their lenses online without consulting a healthcare professional, and simple contact lens hygiene suggestions can go a long way in avoiding infections.