Contact lenses may disrupt eye bacteria, study finds

Scientists have found that wearing contact lenses alters the bacteria communities in the eye, which could potentially contribute to higher risk of eye infections, according to a new study published by the American Society for Microbiology.

For the study, researchers compared the bacterial communities of the conjunctiva and skin beneath the eye from 58 subjects. The scientists then examined samples from 20 participants (nine lens wearers and 11 non-lens wearers). They found that, like the skin, eyes have their own particular microbial communities, and that contact lenses can disrupt the balance of bacteria in the eye.

The disruption of the bacteria could mean an increased risk of infection. The study's authors write, "This report of a baseline study shows differences in the eye microbiome of contact lens wearers in relation to those of non-lens wearers and has the potential to help future studies explore novel insights into a possible role of the microbiome in the increased risk for eye infections in contact lens wearers."

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