Microbes in your eyeballs could be causing eye infections, a British study has found.
British researchers analysed more than 3,000 eye infections over a two-year period.
The team from the University of Sheffield and the University Hospital in Birmingham found that about a quarter of all eye infections occurred in patients who had contracted eye infections in the previous three months.
In a study published in the journal Lancet on Monday, the researchers said the number of eye infections had risen from 3,500 to 5,000 a year since 2008.
They said the rate of eye infection in the UK had increased from around 0.5 per 100,000 people in 2008 to almost one per 100 in 2016.
Microbes in the eyeThe study analysed eye infections and infections by pathogenic microorganism.
They said some microorganisms may be producing harmful chemicals that are present in eye glasses or other products.
Dr Michael O’Hara, of the Royal College of Surgeons’ Department of Dermatology and Venereology, said it was not clear whether eye infections could be caused by these microorganisms or not.
He said there were “some good possibilities” that microorganisms could produce eye infections.
“But you have to be really careful when you get into that, as there are a lot of other factors that may be contributing,” Dr O’Dhara said.
Researchers are studying how microorganisms affect the lining of the eye and how they may cause a variety of conditions.
One study found that the number and type of microorganics in the blood of patients with vitiligo, a condition that affects the eye’s outer layers of skin, could affect how the eye responds to light.
Another study found the presence of micro-organisms in the skin of some people could also affect their response to light, although that study did not look at whether they could cause eye infections themselves.
Other research has found that certain micro-organics can be harmful to the eye.
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermaologists found that skin micro-proteins were linked to the development of conjunctivitis, a skin disorder that can lead to vision loss and loss of function.
More research is needed to better understand how micro-microorganisms may affect eye health.