Contact Lens Nightmare: Man Goes Blind After Sleeping in Them

Health News
4 min read
Contact Lens Nightmare: Man Goes Blind After Sleeping in Them

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This is a cautionary tale.

A 39-year-old sculptor, Chad Groeschen, from Cincinnati, USA,  slept with his contact lenses and felt itchy the next day. He figured it was an allergy and wasn’t too concerned. When the allergy felt like a sinus infection, he went to the doctor, only to get the shocking diagnosis of a severe bacterial infection due to extended wear of the contact lenses.

Doctors gave antibiotics that cured him of the infection, but he developed a corneal ulcer and is now blind in one eye because of the scar tissue the bacteria left behind.

*Warning: Graphic image below*

The bacterial infection was quickly destroying Groeschen’s cornea, the eye’s outer protective layer (Photo: Cincinnati Eye Institute)

It is estimated that nearly 125 million use contact lenses around the world. Groeschen is one of many Americans who use contacts in ways that could jeopardize their eyes. A new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that, nearly 99% of contact lens users, wash or store their lenses in unhygienic ways.

99%? That’s almost all of us! Clearly lens users need to double down and re-examine their eye care routines, or we’re all going to end up doing tons of harm to ourselves out of pure laziness.


1. You Cannot Swim, Shower or Soak Your Contact Lenses in Water

Water and lenses is a big no-no! (Youtube/ Swimming Pigs in Exuma Bahamas)

This is equivalent to sleeping in lenses. Even though water is pure to drink, never, ever soak your contact lenses in tap water, it’s not sterile. Pool water is chlorinated, it sure is not clean.

Even a drop of contaminated water splashed onto the contacts, can allow an amoeba to wind up in the space between the contact lens and the eye, which can then parasite eat up your eye! I’m not saying that this will definitely happen to if you let water touch your lenses but it very well could. Better safe than sorry, no?

Speaking of water...


2. Don’t Rinse or Store Your Lenses in Water

In spite of all the warnings, a study by CDC Atlanta found, 36% of contact lens wearers report rinsing their lenses once in a while in water, while 17% reported storing them in it.

Please don’t do this to yourself!


3. Please Don’t Use Your Lenses Till Eternity

Discard your lenses before they make you blind! (Youtube/Nerf gun to the eye)

Your lens is like a sponge. It soaks up the elements of your tears, proteins, some of the germs on the lid and they all get onto the lens. This build-up can irritate your eye, causing infection. Lenses get worn out and have to be changed before their shelf life expires. Different types of lenses comes with a different “best before” date and you must change them even if you keep them clean.


4. Use Fresh Solution Everytime You Store Your Lenses

It’s gross if you don’t! And I don’t want to terrify you (though you probably should be terrified, because yikes), bacterial eye infections are painful as hell. Re-using lens solution decreases the effectiveness of the disinfectant and increases the risk of contamination. So if you don’t want to go blind or die because a worm ate your eyeball, stop being lazy!


5. Disinfect Your Case Everytime You Use It

Eye infections can happen within 24 hours of wearing a compromised lens. I’m starting to repeat myself a lot, but again, cleaning your lenses has no meaning if the case is germ infested. So wash your hands, sanitise the case, let it dry and then use. Every so often, be sure to clean it in hot water too.

Whew! Still have queries? Write to us in the comments box below.
Here’s to healthy, happy peepers!

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Topics:  Blind 

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