Have you ever been warned not to sleep with your contacts on? Have you ever actually slept with contacts on, be it accidentally or intentionally? Well, this man has and his left eye is reaping the consequences of sleeping in contacts now. 39-year-old Chad Groeschen from the Ohio, United States woke up with a sharp pain in his left eye and looked into the mirror to find that he was now blind in one eye.
Everything was fine and dandy a month ago except that Groeschen’s left eye was itching slightly. He figured that the itch was due to allergies and didn’t concern himself with it until he woke up the next day with partially cloudy vision. Again, he thought nothing of it until he woke up to excruciating pain in his eye which was red and oozing pus.
Doctors immediately diagnosed him with an eye infection, stating that his left eye was infected by the Pseudomonas bacteria and that he contracted it by sleeping with his extended-wear (the kind you wear for a month or a year) contacts on. The bacteria somehow managed to get under his contacts which acted as a petri dish for the bacteria and attacked his eye. Groeschen mentioned that he only took his contacts out once a week and as a result, he is now completely blind in one eye. In order to regain his vision, Groeschen will have to go through cornea replacement surgery.
According to Dr. Thomas Steinemann, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, cases like Groeschen’s are common and that he treats several of these a year. Such things only happen because of bad contact lens habits or due to pure laziness. He further states that it is vital that contact lens wearers should always replace the saline solution in their contact cases instead of simply topping them up and that they should never swim with their lenses on. A study that was done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed that 99% of Americans practice bad habits that puts them at risk of eye infections.
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