Types of Corneal Infections
The most common type of infectious keratitis is bacterial keratitis. It is often caused by wearing contacts overnight. Although the Food and Drug Administration has approved some extended-wear lenses for 30-day use, this does increase the risk of infection significantly. Sleeping in your contacts makes you much more prone to keratitis, so it is recommended that you remove your contacts every day, clean and rinse them thoroughly, and store them with fresh contact solution. Be sure to talk through the risk with your eye doctor.
Some viruses and fungi can also cause keratitis. Tap water can contain a germ that causes keratitis, and contact lens wearers are more susceptible to this type of keratitis as well. While it may seem logical to store contact lenses in tap water when you have run out of contact lens solution, this choice may cause a severe eye infection.
Not all types of keratitis are infectious. Noninfectious keratitis can result from:
- Eye injury from a scratch or foreign object
- Allergic reaction to deposits on the lenses
- Chemicals, including those in contact lens solution
- Dryness of the eyes