Acanthamoeba Keratitis

Acanthamoeba Keratitis

Image of a woman holding a tissue to her eye.

Acanthamoeba keratitis

Acanthamoeba keratitis is a relatively rare type of eye infection, but it can become quite serious. If left untreated, Acanthamoeba eventually leads to vision loss, requiring a corneal transplant to restore sight. Understanding how to prevent this infection is key.

What Is Acanthamoeba Keratitis?

Acanthamoeba is a type of microscopic, single-celled organism known as an amoeba. Acanthamoeba live in all sorts of water sources. These parasites exist in tap water, natural bodies of water, wells, hot tubs, sewage, and can survive in the moisture in soil. When an Acanthamoeba infects the translucent, outer layer of the eye (the cornea), Acanthamoeba keratitis results.

Symptoms of Acanthamoeba Keratitis

The symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis include eye pain, redness, sensitivity to light, blurred vision, excessive tearing, and the sensation that something is stuck in one’s eye. These symptoms reflect those of more common eye infections like pink eye, and as a result the infection can be misdiagnosed.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see an eye care professional right away, as Acanthamoeba keratitis and other eye infections can lead to permanent loss of vision if not addressed immediately.

Who Is at Risk of Contracting Acanthamoeba Keratitis?

Individuals who wear contact lenses are substantially more likely to become infected with Acanthamoeba keratitis. Improperly cleaned and disinfected contact lenses, wearing contact lenses while swimming, bathing, showering, or hot tubbing also increase the risk.

Precautions against Acanthamoeba Keratitis

One can take several precautions against becoming infected with Acanthamoeba keratitis, such as always taking proper care of contact lenses, which includes cleaning and rubbing them after each use with a brand of contact solution recommended by an eye care professional. Disinfecting a contact lens case while not in use may also prevent infection. It is also recommended that contact wearers avoid wearing contact lenses while swimming, showering, or participating in any water-related activity. If a patient chooses to wear contact lenses in the water, airtight swimming goggles should be worn, and lenses should be removed for cleaning immediately after.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The Acanthamoeba keratitis infection is often mistaken for more common eye conditions, and usually not properly diagnosed until after the failed use of antibiotics. Once diagnosed, Acanthamoeba keratitis can be fairly difficult to cure, but is treated with topical anti-microbial agents. If symptoms persist, a corneal transplant might be necessary for the patient to achieve a full recovery.

Testimonials

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  • Dr. Bill Berk is very thorough and listens to his patients. No question, comment, or concern is dismissed.

    - M K
  • Had my first appointment today. Staff were friendly and professional. The office space was very nicely laid out. Dr Anne Berk was thorough in her exam and explained everything as we went and recapped before I left. I highly recommend Happy Valley Vision Source for your optometric care.

    - P K
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  • I've been a patient since 2018 and I've only had great experiences with all the staff - everyone is just so great! There is a great selection of frames and that are VERY high quality and I've never had any issues! I love the texting feature to communicate and having access to my secure patient portal.

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  • I've been going here for years to get my eyes checked and staff is always very friendly, passionate, and professional. I love Dr. Anne Berk as my optometrist. She is very knowledgeable and passionate and caring with her patients. That is very hard to find in a doctor nowadays.

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  • Been way too long since I had an eye exam. Technology has dramatically improved. The optometrist was exceptional at communicating and explaining every step of the process. I would highly recommend Dr Nguyen.

    - S S
  • The staff at Happy Valley Vision Source is the best eye care staff I have ever worked with. Front desk people, doctors, assistant, and the ladies who help with getting glasses are kind, knowledgeable and make the whole process smooth and hassle free!

    - J B
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Due to appointment demand, you may be charged a minimum $39 fee if you cancel or miss your appointment without 24 hour notice.

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Tuesday

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Wednesday

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Thursday

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Friday

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Saturday

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Sunday

Closed

Office Hours

Monday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
Closed

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