A failure to follow the rules of hygiene when wearing lenses can lead to tragic consequences. 24-year-old Katie Richardson, the patient from England, has got a corneal infection potentially leading to deterioration of eyesight and even blindness.
Since the age of 14 years, the woman has been using lenses, so comfortable and invisible that she sometimes forgot to take them off for a night. Once she ran out of her disinfecting solution, and the girl had to wash them with water. Then Katie woke up with pain in her left eye: at first, she suspected conjunctivitis, but the pain would only intensify. Soon she could not open the eye. The inflammation turned out to have been triggered by the fungal infection.
Our eyes are protected with the liquid located on their surface. It contains enzymes, and when blinking, we clean the surface of the eye. But sometimes bacteria break through this protection, penetrating into the protective layer of cells in the cornea. Microbial keratitis is most often caused by the pseudomonas bacterium, but the most dangerous one is acanthamoeba, which can be found in tap water. That is why the bathroom is not the safest place to store lenses.
The prolonged use of lenses without a break can also lead to the formation of microscopic cracks that the bacteria can easily penetrate. Microbial keratitis, the most dangerous complication of wearing contact lenses, develops rapidly. Another thing which makes the treatment more complicated is that contact lenses reduce the sensitivity of the eye, so people notice the infection at an advanced stage already.
According to microbiologist Simon Kilvington from the University of Leicester, the number of people suffering from the acanthamoeba infection has recently been increasing (50 cases are annually registered in Britain alone). By the way, the studies have shown that wearing lenses makes the risk of keratitis three times bigger, and if you do not take the lenses off at night, the probability of the infection increases by almost 20 times.
Source of the image: Photl.