Acanthamoeba (a-kanth-a-me-ba)

What is Acanthamoeba?

  • Acanthamoeba is a microorganism that can cause an infection of the eye
    • The organism is commonly found in water sources used to clean contact lenses

What are the Symptoms of an Acanthamoeba Infection?

  • Tearing and the sensation of something in your eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Red, painful, irritated eyes

How Common is Acanthamoeba?

  • Acanthamoeba infections are fairly rare, but their incidence increases with improper contact lens hygiene

What are the Risk Factors for an Acanthamoeba Infection?

  • Using tap water to clean contact lenses
  • Swimming in any water source with your contact lenses in your eyes
  • Poor contact lens hygiene

How is Acanthamoeba Diagnosed?

  • Diagnosing an acanthamoeba infection begins with a comprehensive eye exam at Shanks Family Eye Care
    • During this exam, your doctor uses equipment such as a slit-lamp to properly identify the acanthamoeba microorganism

How can You Avoid Acanthamoeba?

  • Properly care for your contact lenses!
    • Remember to always wash your hands before touching your contact lenses or your eyes
    • Never use anyone else’s contact lenses
    • Never swim in or sleep in your contact lenses
    • Use proper contact lens solution prescribed by your doctor
    • See your doctor every year so that they can evaluate your contact lenses to determine if any change in lens is needed