According to a recent medical study, contact lenses may affect the bacteria that live naturally in our eyes.
The researchers who conducted the study found that people who wore contact lenses had more than triple the proportion of some species of bacteria on the surface of their eyes, compare to those who didn’t wear lenses.
While analyzing the differences between those who wear contact lenses and those who don’t wear them, the researchers found that the bacterial composition on the surface of the eyes of the wearers was not the same.
The contact lenses people had a composition that resembled the bacteria found on the eyelids.
The study was conducted on 20 people; 9 wore contacts while 11 didn’t.
Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, an expert in microbiology at the NYU Langone Medical Center, explained that putting a foreign object on the eye’s surface, such as contact lenses, can affect it.
The researcher added that further studies are needed in order to determine whether modifications in the eye bacteria occur because of the fingers touching the eyes or if the contact lenses pressing on the surface of the eye can somehow change the eye’s immune system.
Dr. Dominguez-Bello said that further research may help determine why some people who wear contact lenses are more susceptible to eye infections, compared to people who don’t wear any.
According to the eye experts, since contact lenses were introduced for the first time in the 1970s, the rate of corneal ulcers cases has increased.
Corneal ulcers are sores that appear on the transparent covering of the eye, says Dr. Jack Dodick, professor of at the department of ophthalmology at NYU Langone.
The bacteria responsible for most cases of corneal ulcers are called Pseudomonas.
The recent study suggests that people who wear contact lenses are more likely to carry these bacteria on their eye surface.
Dr. Doodick advises that people who wear contact lenses should be very careful when putting them on the eye. They need to make sure the hands are very clean in order to avoid corneal ulcers.
The researchers wrote that further studies must be conducted in order to see how exactly the differences in bacterial compositions can affect the eye.
There are millions of people who wear contact lenses, and although they have a modified bacterial community in their eyes, most of them do not experience any type of complications related to their contacts.
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