Can You Get an Eye Infection From Contacts
Eye care
April 11, 2024, 10:42 a.m.

Can You Get an Eye Infection From Contacts

By: Kanishtha Bansal

For anyone who's traded in their glasses for contact lenses, the freedom is amazing, isn't it? But with great freedom comes great responsibility—especially when it comes to keeping an eye out for infections. Let's dive into this a bit more and really understand the truth behind contact lenses and the potential for eye infections.

Why Your Contact Lenses Might Cause Eye Infections

  1. Hygiene Habits Taking a Backseat: Remember how your mom nagged you about washing your hands? Turns out, she was onto something. Skipping soap and water before touching your lenses is like rolling out the red carpet for germs.
  2. Marathon Wear: Wearing contacts for an extended period of time not only suffocates your eyes but also invites bacterial growth.
  3. Sleeping in Contact Lenses: Oh, the allure of crashing into bed without removing your lenses! But here’s the reality check: doing so slashes the oxygen supply to your eyes and turns them into a bacterial breeding ground.
  4. The Tap Water or Saliva Fix: As tempting as it might be to quickly rinse your lens with water or saliva, it's a big no-no. Both are teeming with microorganisms eager to wreak havoc on your eyes. Always stick to the sterile solution.
  5. Ignoring the Red Flags: Red eyes, itchiness, or any discomfort are your eyes’ way of screaming for help. Brushing these signs off can lead to some serious trouble down the line.

Signs of eye infections


Types of Contact Lens Eye Infections

Diving into the world of contact lens-related eye infections, here’s what could potentially be lurking:

Bacterial Keratitis: This happens when we might not be as strict with cleaning our lenses or we use an old lens solution. If your eyes are turning red, hurting, getting blurry, or starting to ooze, it's a sign something's not right.

Fungal Keratitis:A less frequent but more aggressive infection, often triggered by too much lens wear in humid conditions. It mimics bacterial keratitis but escalates quickly.

Acanthamoeba Keratitis: This one’s sneaky, coming from a microorganism found in water and soil. Poor lens care or swimming with lenses can invite it in, leading to intense pain, redness, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.

Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis (GPC): This is your eyes telling you they're not happy with the protein buildup on your lenses or something else that's gotten on them. Itchy, red eyes with mucus and discomfort when you pop your lenses in are the telltale signs.

Corneal Ulcers: These are as nasty as they sound — open sores on your cornea because of infections or even just overwearing your lenses. Look out for pain, redness, and a serious aversion to light.

Microbial Keratitis: A nasty mix of infections from bacteria, fungi, and amoebas, sharing symptoms with other keratitis types but with high stakes for your vision if not treated promptly.


While contacts are a fantastic option for those of us who want a break from glasses, they come with their own set of rules to live by. The key to enjoying them without trouble is all about sticking to those good hygiene practices. Remember, we're talking about your eyesight here — and that's priceless. Taking care of your eyes should always be at the top of your to-do list.