Vision is one of the most important senses of man. We see the world around us, and it's good if we see it clearly, noticing all the colors and details. However, all the surrounding beauty can fade in an instant, if you do not take care of your eyesight and treat this gift negligently.
If there are still problems with vision, then people choose the means that will help to correct it. Usually these are glasses or contact lenses. Each is guided by personal preferences, taking into account different nuances: someone likes glasses in a beautiful frame, which in addition to their main function will act as a fashion accessory. And someone prefers not to burden themselves by wearing glasses or simply wants to hide vision problems - such as contact lenses.
But scientists warn of the danger that such seemingly convenient and small lenses may contain.
Millions of people who use contact lenses are at daily risk.
The causative agent of a dangerous disease, called amoebic keratitis, is the unicellular organism Acanthamoeba, which is found in tap water, swimming pools, shower cabins and even dust.
In the UK, the number of people using contact lenses is 3.7 million people. The number of lens owners who caught this infection is relatively small, but experts warn that treatment of this disease takes a lot of time and effort.
The process of the disease is very painful and can eventually threaten blindness. At the initial stage, patients are prescribed drops, but in the worst case, the patient may face a corneal transplant.
Specialists presented the results of the report at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen: "When the bacterium Acanthamoeba contacts the eyes, pathogens pass through the cornea and the outer layer of the eyeball. A person has a profuse discharge of tears, severe itching and pain, as well as sensitivity to light . "
"This can be a problem for anyone who wears contact lenses, much less those who do not follow the care instructions," says Dr. Fiona Henriques of the University of Western Scotland.
In the process of research, scientists studied 153 containers for storing lenses of those owners who were not infected with a dangerous pathogen. As a result, it turned out that 65.9% of the containers were infected with Acanthamoeba, and another 30% - with other types of pathogenic amoebas. Bacteria were not found only in containers, whose owners wore lenses daily. "Often those who wear lenses wash them under running water - the habitat of dangerous bacteria. In addition, people do not remove the lens and while visiting the swimming pool or going to the shower. This only increases the risk of infection with pathogens, "- says an employee of the optics salon Graham Stevenson. "Millions of people use lenses - it's convenient and practical. We do not want to scare them or force them to abandon the lenses altogether. Our mission is to warn and advise to adhere to safety rules, and also to be cautious, "- added a researcher from the University of Strathclyde Tara Beattie.
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