Purpose: This study aimed to examine the rates of microbial contamination, and identify contaminants associated with contact lenses and lens care accessories used by a group of young contact lens wearers.
Methods: Collected contact lenses, lens cases, and lens care solutions were studied by bacterial culture. Contamination rates of these samples were recorded and compared with those reported in previous studies.
Results: Of the samples tested, 9% of lens extracts, 34% of case extracts and 11% of solution samples were contaminated with ocular pathogenic microorganisms. Serratia spp., Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase-negative staphylococci were the most common microorganisms isolated. Lens cases were the most frequently contaminated item. Lens cases also yielded the widest range of bacterial isolates. Contact lenses used by occasional wearers were associated with a higher contamination rate. Using either saline or multipurpose solution to rinse lenses before use appeared to be effective in reducing incidence of contamination.
Conclusion: Our findings demonstrate that contact lenses and lens care accessories are not well maintained by contact lens wearers. Regular reviews and reinforcement of lens care procedures for the usage and care of contact lenses and lens care accessories is therefore important and essential.