Monday, 19 October 2015

Transmission of HIV through Contact Lenses: Are they Safe?

People with HIV positive have weak immune system which makes them susceptible to pick chain of other diseases. Aids is transmitted through body fluids and the virus has been recovered from ocular tissues, soft contact lenses & tears of patients diagnosed with immunodeficiency syndrome. This being said; ophthalmologists should stay concerned about the possible risk of HIV transmission to other personnel or non-HIV patients visiting the office. Fortunately, there are no documented cases of HIV transfusion through contaminated contact lenses or human tears.

Contact lenses are not safe to swap or share. Though the chances of HIV transmission are extremely rare; one should note that contact lenses are medical devices. They are not one piece fits all. Everybody has different prescriptions & requirements. Moreover, contact lenses accumulate dirt & protein debris. They also get contaminated with allergens & sharing lenses may lead to the sharing the infection too. Ophthalmologists warn patients to even toss their own contact lenses that may have got contaminated due to sudden strike of allergic response.

Sufferers of HIV can safely wear colored contacts. They should be however more concerned about hygiene. Every time a contact lens is removed, it must be disinfected thoroughly. Patients should stay alert about replacing the contact lens cases once every three months. Ensure advanced safety, sterilizing the cases once in a month. HIV makes changes in eyes so patients can notice changes in contact lens tolerance. This may or may not be directly related to contact lenses. To prevent complex situations; patients must program regular follow-ups with eye care practitioner and keep him well informed about any irrational changes in health.


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