A young Taiwanese woman was found to have both her corneas eaten away by amoebae after wearing the same disposable contact lenses for half a year.
The girl had a short-sightedness with about -7 to -8 dioptres. She continued to use the same pair of disposable contact lenses, which were supposed to be used for one month only, for over six months. During this period, she didn’t take them out for cleaning or for sleeping. After having difficulties taking the contact lenses out due to her red painful eyes, she went to the hospital and was diagnosed with Acanthamoeba keratitis, a disease in which amoebae invade or devour the eye cornea.
It was reported that both corneas of her eyes were nibbled away by the amoeba to about half of the normal size. The cornea in her right eye was seriously damaged and her eyesight was badly affected, meaning that she can’t undergo laser eye surgery in the future. It was suspected that the girl got this disease through the dirty tap water while washing her face.
A doctor quoted in the report said that people who wear contact lenses while showering, swimming or playing by the beach could be vulnerable to cornea-eating amoebae, which may result in blindness. They also suggested that people who use daily disposable contact lenses use a fresh pair every day. For those who use non-daily contact lenses, they should clean the lenses daily so as to avoid bacteria or amoebae from infecting the eyes. People wearing contact lenses should also avoid getting tap water into their eyes.
[Images Via Bastillepost]
By Jennifer Hui