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Acanthamoeba Infection

Acanthamoeba is an infection in the eye, skin and central nervous system. It occurs in water and soil. It can spread to the eye through the use of contact lenses. It can transmit by having cuts and skin wounds. This infection causes a serious health issues to a human being.

3 Diseases caused by Acanthamoeba

  1. Acanthamoeba Keratitis – It was first recognized in 1973. It is a disease of the eye where the amoebae enter the cornea. It occurs in contact lens users which may result in blindness.
  2. Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis (GAE) –It takes place in the human brain and in the spinal cord. It occurs in a person with a weak immune system.
  3. Disseminated Infection – This occurs in unhealthy person. It appears in the skin, sinus, lungs and other human organs.

ILLNESS AND SYMPTOMS

Symptoms experienced by the person include:

  • Pain and redness of the eye
  • Experiencing eye pain when exposed to sunlight
  • Continuous eye tearing
  • Having a feeling of something in the eye

Disseminated Infection and GAE are the same. It has a potential to spread in the brain. The symptom of GAE includes:

  • Changes of mental status
  • Loss of coordination
  • Having fever
  • Muscle weakness or partial paralysis of one side of the body
  • Experiencing eye pain
  • Double vision
  • Other neurologic problem

SOURCES OF INFECTION

The following are some practice that can lead a person at risk:

  • Improper storing and handling of the lenses
  • Improper cleaning/disinfecting of the lenses
  • Wearing lenses while swimming, using a hot tub and having a shower
  • Handling the lens with contaminated water
  • History of having a trauma to the cornea

The GAE and disseminated infection affect a person with a weak immune system. In some cases, it can affect a healthy person. The conditions that may increase the chances of GAE are:

  • A person having AIDS
  • Having an organ transplant
  • An abusive way of using antibiotics
  • A person with Diabetes Mellitus
  • Cancer
  • Abnormal or overproduced of white blood cells
  • Blood clotting doesn’t function properly
  • A person with Liver cirrhosis
  • Lupus

DIAGNOSIS AND DETECTION

Diagnosing is an effective way of treating the infection. This can be performed by an eye specialist. The GAE and Disseminated Infection are difficult to diagnose. Using tools such as brain scan and biopsies are a useful way to diagnose.

PREVENTION AND CONTROL

Practicing the following can lower the chances of having the disease:

  1. Visiting your eye care provider for a regular eye examination.
  2. Wearing and removing the lens according to the schedule provided.
  3. Removing the lens when having contact with water.
  4. Proper washing of hands with soap. Keep it dry before handling the lenses.
  5. Proper cleaning of the lens. According to the given instruction.
  6. Storing the contact lens in the proper storage case.

TREATMENTS

Medication is a useful way of treating this condition. If you notice the sign of infection, visit your doctor to have you diagnose. The GAE infection is difficult to treat but when it’s not spread in the nervous system it can be cured.

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