If you’re long or short-sighted, chances are that you’ve heard of keratitis before, an inflammation of the cornea that can be caused by viruses, bacteria, parasites or fungi. Non-infectious keratitis can be caused by keeping your contact lenses in too long, so make sure you always have a contact lens case about your person so you can take them out from time to time.
Luckily, if you go and see your doctor in a timely fashion as soon as symptoms appear you can treat the condition without worrying about loss of vision. However, if you fail to have the infection treated, it could result in serious complications that may well cause permanent damage to your eyesight.
Symptoms of keratitis include redness, pain, difficulty opening your eye, decreased or blurred vision, photophobia (light sensitivity) or excessive tears or other discharge. You may also feel as though you have something in your eye. If any of these symptoms are present, make an appointment with your GP to get yourself checked out.
To help prevent getting keratitis in the first place, it’s vital that you keep your contact lenses clean and that you don’t leave them in too long by, for example, falling asleep in them. If your contact lenses are contaminated with some sort of bacteria, the cornea of your eye could become infected as well.
You should also take extra care in swimming pools, hot tubs, lakes, rivers and oceans as parasites can enter your eyes if you open them under water. This can also result in keratitis and if you’re used to wearing your contact lenses for prolonged periods, your cornea may already be vulnerable to infection.