Read about our COVID-19 health advisory

Sink Sorrows: Your drain may cause eye infections

POSTED ON January 9, 2012

Blog

The Journal of Clinical Microbiology recently published a study examining the prevalence of Fusarium, a fungus that can cause sinus infections, funky toenails, and more recently, eye infections according to an NPR Shots Blog. This fungus can kill people with weak immune systems, too. Apparently, Fusarium can cause serious eye infections in contact lens wearers. Does anyone remember the mass eye infection outbreaks in 2005 and 2006? They were attributed to mold and required Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu solution to be tested to see if it ...

The Journal of Clinical Microbiology recently published a study examining the prevalence of Fusarium, a fungus that can cause sinus infections, funky toenails, and more recently, eye infections according to an NPR Shots Blog. This fungus can kill people with weak immune systems, too. Apparently, Fusarium can cause serious eye infections in contact lens wearers.

Does anyone remember the mass eye infection outbreaks in 2005 and 2006? They were attributed to mold and required Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu solution to be tested to see if it had caused the outbreaks. The solution was not to blame; apparently the Fusarium fungus was the culprit.

According to NPR, “the types of the fungus that caused the outbreaks are sometimes found in household plumbing, so researchers at Penn State University set out to see just how common they are. They swabbed 471 bathroom drains in the Eastern U.S. and California, and found that two-thirds of sink drains harbored at least one Fusarium strain.”

The research, published in the Journal, indicated that the six strains most common in drains were the same ones likely to spur eye infections. However, don’t freak out just yet. Research doesn’t explain how the fungus leaves the drain to infect a person. There’s no reason to fear mold (the fungus) in your pipes according to James Sublett, an allergist in Louisville, Kentucky, Chair of the indoor environment committee for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

My suggestion? Keep your hands clean, keep your contact solution clean and fresh, keep your contact case clean and be cautious. Taking the precautionary steps to avoid an eye infection can save you a lot of pain, discomfort, and trips to the doctor. If you have questions about contact lens care, contact your nearest Dr. Tavel location.

To read the original NPR Shots blog, click here.

Recent Posts:

You may also like this: