Based on the recent medical findings, contact lenses can favor eye infections, new study shows. The conclusion was reached after scientists have compared the eye samples withdrawn from nine contact lens wearers to those belonging to 11 non-wearers.
The Langone Medical Center of New York University embarked upon a new mission: that of determining how safe contact lenses are for our eyes. The findings were less optimistic than researchers might have expected; they show that contact lenses have the ability to increase bacteria on the eye’s surface, thus causing more eye infections.
The study was carried through under the close surveillance of research leader Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello. She has gathered a group of nine participants and collected samples from their eyes. The nine participants are frequent users of contact lenses. Their samples were compared to the ones of 11 participants who have never wore contact lenses.
Results have shown that contact lens wearers had more bacteria on their eye’s surface than non-wearers. Further analyses have revealed that the bacteria on the eye’s surface was identical to the bacteria on the eye lids. Based on this findings, Dominguez-Bello believes contact lenses bring bacteria that is specific for the outer areas of the eye on the eye’s surface. No possible explanation as to why contact lenses can favor eye infections has yet been provided.
In spite of the negative results that the study has provided in relation to contact lenses, the leader of the study group is still optimistic. She believes further tests have to be carried out in order to determine whether the lenses are really noxious for the eye or not. Moreover, she hopes the upcoming studies will help identify the main causes of eye bacteria growth, although some hypotheses have already been made.
According to the scientists, who have taken part in the research, the bacteria on the eye’s surface might have grown as a result of the pressure that the lens enacts on the eye’s surface. It is possible that the antibacterial compounds of the tears cannot properly wash the eye because the contact lenses does not allow them to do so.
Another possible explanation for the unusual bacteria growth is the frequent finger contact that lens wearers make with their eyes. It is a well-known fact that people, who wear contact lenses on a regular basis, have the increased tendency of touching their eyes to adjust their lenses. This could be one of the explanations for the vast strains of bacteria found on the eye’s surface, although further tests are required to confirm this deduction.
There are normally 5,000 bacteria strains on the eye surface of both contact lens wearers and non-wearers, scientists warn. They suggest people to pay much attention to their eye and hand hygiene in order to avoid infections and other possible diseases.
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