Cases of an uncommon eye infection that can cause blindness may be increasing because of something that’s used every time contacts are inserted: water. Scientists at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London noticed an increasing number of patients being diagnosed with a rare eye infection. Published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology on September 19, the study confirmed that infections from Acanthamoeba keratitis have grown—and the source is easy to avoid. Acanthamoeba keratitis is caused by a microscopic amoeba that infects the cornea, which is the outer, transparent cover of the eye. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, when the Acanthamoeba amoeba enters the eye, it can cause a range of symptoms, such as eye redness, blurred vision, and eye pain, and without treatment, can lead to vision loss or blindness. Acanthamoeba amoebas are often found in water, such as wells or the pipes in plumbing. “We think any water exposure is a risk for the disease,” John Dart, a professor at University College London, consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital and author on the study told Newsweek . “Unlike bacteria infections which are more common, this is 90 percent preventable.” However, once the infection is contracted, it can… Read full this story
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