We studied the bacteriological profile of soft contact lens and its accessories among the asymptomatic subjects and monitored the compliance level with the lens use and its cleaning protocol.
A total of 115 (104 daily wear and 11 extended wear) subjects using contact lens were studied. Data regarding the duration of use and frequency and method of cleaning were recorded. Contact lens, lens cases, preserving solutions and tips of solution bottles were the samples collected. The isolates were identified on the basis of their phenotypic characters. Samples from 24 subjects (21 daily wear and 3 extended wear) were found contaminated. Of the 24 contaminated cases, 23 showed medium adherence to the cleaning protocol. Contamination rate was higher among the 56 daily wear lens users who used same lens for 2 years and more, than the 48 users who used their lenses for less than 2 years. Lens case contamination was found in all the 24 cases. The bacteria isolated were Citrobacter freundii, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus epidermidis and Streptococcus pneumoniae. In extended wear lens users, there was no change in microbial flora on repeating the cultures on day 7 and 14.
Non-compliance with contact lens use may lead to invitation of microbial flora. The accumulation of these bacteria may act as a precursor to biofilm formation, thus colonizing the lens accessories as well. The bacteria isolated in this study were similar to the ones causing microbial keratitis thus, predisposing the otherwise asymptomatic subjects to permanent visual damage.