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I think I have a contact lens-induced eye infection. What are these eye infections called medically and are there medications I can take prior to my appointment?  

A contact lens provides a terrific chamber for bacterial growth if proper care and usage of the lens is not practiced regularly. This generally means following the directions of your contact lens provider and the solutions recommended for treatment. 

The most common infection is a corneal ulcer which is a discrete deposit of bacterial cell growth seen as a blurry white dot on the surface of the cornea. The lens should be removed and with the consultation of your ophthalmologist, a proper antibiotic can be applied. The results usually are excellent unless the lesion is right in the center, because in most cases healing occurs with a residual scar which only affects vision if it is right in the center. Bacterial ulcers are considered a medical emergency and you should get treatment immediately rather than waiting for a scheduled appointment. This might require an emergency room visit but ophthalmologists are sensitive to these symptoms (eye redness, lowered vision, light sensitivity, discharge, pain) in a contact lens wearer and will see such a patient without delay. You should remove your lens and get to the eye doctor immediately.

Answered by: Richard Bensinger, MD  Dr. Richard Bensinger

Categories: General Eye Health, Eye Conditions

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Answered: Jul 02, 2012

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