Article Text

other Versions

PDF
Contact lens-related microbial keratitis in deployed British military personnel
  1. F Musa1,2,
  2. R Tailor1,2,
  3. A Gao1,3,
  4. E H utley4,
  5. S Rauz3,
  6. R A H Scott1,2,4
  1. 1Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, Birmingham, UK
  2. 2Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  3. 3Academic Unit of Ophthalmology, School of Immunity and Infection, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK
  4. 4Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, University Hospital Birmingham, Selly Oak Hospital, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Fayyaz U Musa, Birmingham and Midland Eye Centre, City Hospital, Dudley Road, Birmingham B18 7QU, UK; fayyaz{at}doctors.net.uk

Abstract

Aims To quantify the effect of contact lens-related microbial keratitis (CLMK) in the British Defence personnel particularly those in active service in the Arabian Gulf and Afghanistan between June 2001 and January 2007.

Methods A retrospective review of all British military personnel who developed contact lens-related keratitis during deployment.

Results A total of 27 cases (27, eyes, 23, male; median age 26 (range 19–41) years) were identified, of whom 19 cases were evacuated from Iraq alone. Twenty cases were associated with soft contact lens wear. Seven cases were culture positive, of which five grew Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The overall incidence of CLMK in contact lens wearer in the British military in Iraq was 35 per 10 000. There was an increased incidence during the summer months. Seventeen eyes (63%) lost more than one line of visual acuity with a resultant permanent medical downgrading in duty capability in nine cases.

Conclusions CLMK has a poorer outcome in a deployed military environment when compared to the civilian setting. Increased awareness of the health risks of contact lens wear together with standardised treatment regimens based on improved pathogen detection using molecular diagnostics have improved outcomes.

  • Corneal infection
  • contact lens
  • military
  • Arabian Gulf
  • cornea
  • infection

Statistics from Altmetric.com

Footnotes

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the MOD Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.