Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Contact Lens Problems: Infection
Keratitis refers to an
inflammation of the
cornea. Infection of the cornea is called infectious
keratitis. It is the most serious complication of contact lens wear and can
Bacterial keratitis is the most common type of
infectious keratitis. Overall, bacterial keratitis is among the least frequent
complications of wearing contacts. But it is much more common in people who wear the lenses
Even though the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) has approved some extended-wear lenses for 30-day use, many eye doctors
recommend that people remove them every day.
In rare cases, viruses and fungi may
cause keratitis. A germ that is often present in tap water causes a form of
keratitis that is increasingly seen in contact lens wearers, especially those
with soft lenses.
Noninfectious causes of keratitis in contact
lens wearers include:
If you wear contact lenses and you have a painful, red eye,
you may have infectious keratitis. Remove your lenses, and call your doctor
immediately. You'll need antibiotic eyedrops to help treat the infection. Symptoms of bacterial keratitis may include:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerChristopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.