Acanthamoeba  

Acanthamoeba  

Acanthamoeba is a common organism commonly found in soil and fresh water. Infection rate is low, but once infection does occur, it can be a severe threat to your vision.

Causes/risk factors

  • Cleaning and disinfecting contact lenses and it case with tap water.
  • Swimming with contact lenses, rivers and fresh water lakes in particular.

Symptoms

  • A red, painful infection that does not respond or improve with traditional treatment.
  • Excess tearing, light sensitivity, blurred vision with a sensation of something in the eye.
  • Irritated, red eyes that last persist after removing your contacts.

Diagnosis

It is always best to see an optometrist if you notice a red, irritated or painful eye. Acanthamoeba classically produces greater pain than signs would suggest, but can progress very quickly. The doctor will perform a complete eye exam to determine the cause of infection, and may order labs or a biopsy for a final diagnosis. In many cases, Acanthamoeba must be managed with a corneal specialist due to the aggressive nature of the infection.

Treatment

  • Removal of damaged tissue
  • Topical prescriptions
  • Biopsy may be considered if condition doesn't improve

Prevention

  • Proper hand washing before handling contacts.
  • Rinse contact lens before storing.
  • Never use saliva to cleanse contacts.
  • Remove contacts before sleeping(unless instructed by your physician).
  • Do not share or swap contacts with anyone.
  • Use sterile products given to you by your physician to cleans you contact lenses.
  • See your optometrist regularly.
  • Do not use tap water to cleans your contact lens.

Acanthamoeba infections are typically from Contact Lenses that have
been stored in tap water. If you are worried about an eye infection
due, please call to schedule an exam with one or our highly trained
doctors!