TAIPEI, Taiwan – A 23-year-old has permanently damaged her eyes and may even be blind after reportedly wearing the same pair of contact lenses continuously for 6 months.
Doctors say by not removing and cleaning the lenses regularly a tiny single-cell amoeba was able to thrive in the student’s eye by eating her cornea.
British Newspaper The Daily Mail first reported the horrifying news on its website.
The tiny single-cell amoeba ate away at undergraduate Lian Kao’s sight because she didn’t take out and clean the contacts once during that time.
According to a warning issued by doctors the case was a particularly severe example of a young person under pressure who did not take the time to carry out basic hygiene on their contact lenses.
Doctors said the amoeba was a parasite commonly found in dirt, dust, showers and pools called an Acanthamoeba. The amoeba can cause eye, skin or even nervous system infections.
In this case because the contacts were never cleaned the parasite was allowed to thrive and burrow into Kao’s eyes where it was feeding on the cornea.
Infections like this are rare. The Journal of Optometry calls the condition Acanthamoeba keratitis and doctors say it can be very difficult to detect until it is too late.