Three Unique Ways That You Could End up With an Eye Infection

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In the United States, the CDC reports that about 61 million adults are at a higher risk for experiencing vision loss. One potential contributing factor to vision loss is from infection. Almost everyone has at one point in their lives experienced conjunctivitis, or a stye, but there are actually many more infections that might be bacterial, viral, fungal, or even parasitic in nature. Symptoms of these infections are all very similar, and might involve blurriness, pain, redness, itchiness, visual aberrations, sensitivity, swelling, and dryness or discharge. It is worth knowing which activities could put you at a greater risk, so that you can make educated decisions based around the health of your eyes. Here are three things that you might not have known could give you an eye infection.

Halloween decorative contact lenses. You think your eyes look scary now?

If you have ever had prescription contact lenses, then you already know that one size does not fit all. According to an FDA optometrist, you should never wear novelty or decorative contact lenses unless you have measurements in the form of a prescription that will be used in creating them. Unfortunately, around Halloween, many people choose to take a chance on decorative lenses that are available right off the shelf. Ill-fitting lenses scratch the surface of the eye, which is painful enough, but can also pave the way for infection-causing bacteria. This past year, a woman from West Virginia suffered severe corneal abrasion, a condition that could have permanently cost her the use of her eye.

Vision correction surgery. Every cure comes with its risks.

An integral component of LASIK eye surgery involves making a thin flap in the cornea in order to access inner layers for laser correction. Although doctors are very careful about sterilization and the surgery itself, and eye infections as a result of LASIK are very rare, they do happen. This risk does not mean that you should be resigned to wearing eye glasses all of your life, but for some individuals it is one thing to take into consideration when deciding on corrective surgery.

An eyeball fetish. It’s all the rage in Japan.

It’s called “worming,” but if that term isn’t disturbing enough, then you could call it by the scientific name, “Oculolinctus.” This fetish specifically involves licking the eyeball, and for some inexplicable reason it has really caught on in Japan among younger kids. Eye care specialists are almost universally opposed to this practice, and fervently warn about the risk of corneal abrasion from the tongue, and contamination of the eyeball with acids or spices from a previous meal, and bacteria from the mouth. While most of the participants in Japan have walked away with nothing more than embarrassment and a bad case of pink eye, they were all at risk for more serious infections and blindness.

Although there are many potential causes of an infection, you now know that at least two of them, via Oculolinctus or decorative lenses, are very avoidable. If you have undergone corrective surgery, then it is key that you alert your doctor or eye care clinic immediately if you experience symptoms of an infection. An eye exam will help the ophthalmologist to determine the type of eye infection, and prescribe treatment. Remember that treating your eyes appropriately, and avoiding risky behaviors, is the best way to preserve the health of your eyes. Find more on this here:

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