How new understanding of the ocular surface microbiome may affect our practice

This article considers the ocular microbiome and its relevance to optometrists and contact lens practice.

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Exposed surfaces of the body are covered in bacteria that play a role in preventing infection; however, when the quantities of these bacteria are altered, severe infection can occur. The ocular surface microbiome is less well researched in comparison to that of the gut or the skin, largely due to the low numbers of culturable bacteria that reside there. With new techniques able to sequence the bacterial DNA, there is an opportunity to understand further the microbiome on the ocular surface and its impact on successful contact lens wear.

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