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Acanthamoeba is a very common bacterial organism in the environment. Its presence is rarely a threat to human health, but when one gets infected with it, an eye disease called Acanthamoeba keratitis can set in and this will affect the infected person’s vision.

Sources of Acanthamoeba

Acanthamoeba can be found in nearly all sources of water (ranging from swimming pools to hot tubs and showers). Other sources from which one can be infected with the bacteria are:

  • Using dirty tap water to clean your contact lenses and their accessories.
  • Swimming in freshwater lakes and rivers with your contact lenses.

Improper contact lens hygiene can put contact lens users at a higher risk of developing acanthamoeba keratitis.


A display of one or more of these symptoms is most likely a warning sign of Acanthamoeba keratitis:

  • A red and frequently painful eye infection that won’t get better with general treatment.
  • Feeling as though there is an object in the eye.
  • Excessive tear production.
  • Sensitivity to light.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Prolonged red and irritated eyes after taking out your contact lenses.

The best line of action when you experience any of these symptoms is to see your eye doctor. Also, be honest enough to tell your doctor about any wrong contact lens or accessories care that you might have carried out. This will help them provide accurate information for proper diagnosis and treatment of your eyes.

Prevention and eye care protection tips

Adopting healthy contact lens hygiene is the key tip to protecting your eyes from infection. Strictly adhere to the following rules:

  • Thoroughly wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.
  • Rinse your contact lenses using the recommended solution from your doctor before storing them.
  • Use only quality sterile and recommend products from your eye doctor to clean or disinfect your lenses. Note that Saline solution and re-wetting drops should not be used because they are not meant for that purpose.
  • Do not use tap water to clean your contact lenses.
  • When you open your contact lens case for use, discard whatever solution is in it and replace it with fresh solution before storing your lenses in it.
  • Strictly follow your doctor’s lens schedule as regards the replacement of your contact lenses.
  • Never wear contact lenses to sleep or swim unless prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not swap lenses with anyone else. This puts you at risk of getting infected with any eye disease from other people.
  • The use of saliva to moisten contact lenses is highly prohibited and should be avoided by all means.
  • Visit your eye doctor regularly with your contact lenses and their accessories for evaluation and recommendation for change if necessary.
  • Always see your eye doctor whenever you are experiencing discomfort with the use of your contact lenses

The best way to protect your eyes from this infection is to always ensure consistent and proper contact lens hygiene. Contact us for more contact lens and eye care information.