Can you get an eye infection while playing soccer or rugby?
An article appeared in the Singapore newspapers today: “Ministry of Health probes Hong Kong rugby club’s eye infections.”
The report – boys from a rugby club in Hong Kong played in a tournament in Singapore last month and many of them (40 out of 60) developed eye infection.
The infection turned out to be a special type of cornea infection known as Microsporidial Keratitis.
This is an infection of the cornea from an organism known as Microsporidia. This organism is a spore-forming parasite. It causes white dots on the cornea and the patient complains of redness of the eye and some complain of blurred vision. While many of these infections have been correlated with exposure to soil, I have also seen those that arose due to injury, swimming and contact lens use.
It is treated with antibiotic eye drops applied to the eye. Some doctors will also add a special oral medication called Albendazole (a medication used to treat infections caused by worms). Sometimes a steroid eye drop may also have to be used.
It usually resolves well with treatment and seldom causes a permanent decrease in vision. So I am quite certain the rugby boys from Hong Kong will recover well. 🙂