ACANTHAMOEBA - Overview , Facts, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis

ACANTHAMOEBA

Acanthamoeba is a single-celled living organism that causes severe infections in the nervous system, eyes, and skin. This genus was commonly found in soil and water, and it can be passed through inhaling, contact with the eyes, and through skin wounds. Moreover, some people are already exposed; however, only a few of them developed illnesses and infections. 

TYPES

There are three primary types of uncommon clinical conditions that Acanthamoeba can bring about. These include:

  • Acanthamoeba keratitis. This infection typically happens in physically fit people, and can bring about lasting visual disability or blindness.
  • Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis (GAE).  It is a severe infection in the spinal cord and brain. This infection happens to those with compromised immune systems. 
  • Disseminated infection. It is a wide range of infection that infects the lungs, skin, sinuses, and other organs. The same with GAE, it affects persons with compromised immune systems. 

SYMPTOMS

Keratitis

The symptoms of Acanthamoeba keratitis are different from one person to another. Moreover, patients complain about the following symptoms:

  • Eye redness
  • Eye pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Excessive tearing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stirring sensation in the eye

Granulomatous Amebic Encephalitis

The circulation of the infection appears typically as an aggravation of the lungs or sinuses and skin diseases, however, it may also reach the brain. Furthermore, the infection caused by the genus to the skin may appear as skin ulcers, abscesses, and reddish nodules. 

Other symptoms may also include:

  • Other neurologic problems
  • Weakened muscles or paralyzed side of the body
  • Loss of coordination
  • Fever
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Double vision
  • Different mental status

 

Additionally, due to the similarities of the other eye infections and conditions affected by Acanthamoeba, early detection is essential for effective treatment.

DIAGNOSIS

The infection can be determined through the eye specialist according to its symptoms. With the use of confocal microscopy, you can see if the amoeba already grew.  Also, tests like biopsies, spinal taps, and brain scans can be very useful in diagnosing infection. 

TREATMENT

In treating Acanthamoeba, physicians suggest eye medication as the treatment. On the other hand, infections are challenging to manage and cure, so eye experts will have to conduct tests to determine the areas affected by the condition. So, if you are experiencing a strange feeling or symptoms in your body, it is better to consult a doctor for a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

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