Contact Lens Horror Stories: Poor Care Can Lead to Blindness
Horror stories from contact lens users who lost part or all of their vision due to infection continue to make headlines in the news.
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday on the bad habits of contact lens wearers that can cause red, crusty infected eyes, and in the worst case scenario, visual impairment or blindness.
The story featured Shan Lusk, 48, who now suffers permanent visual defects due to contact lens misuse.
For years, Lusk slept and showered in her contact lenses. She wore them for months on end instead of changing them out each month as prescribed and didn't disinfect them daily. Finally, these bad habits caught up with her. The Cleveland woman ended up with a corneal ulcer that got infected and left a tiny scar on the front of her eye that affects her night vision.
"There is permanent damage from it," Lusk told the paper.
Even more graphic is the story of a Cincinnati man who went blind in his left eye after sleeping in dirty contact lenses. Chad Groeschen, a contractor, said his eye felt irritated after work one day. He took off his lenses, which he slept in regularly, and awoke to find he could not see out of his left eye.
Even after antibiotic treatment for his Pseudomonas eye infection, he can only see light and shapes and may need to get a corneal transplant in order to see clearly again. His story went viral, appearing on outlets from BuzzFeed.com to Good Morning America.
Clearly, Lusk and Groeschen are not alone. According to the CDC, 99% of people who wear contact lenses have at least one bad habit that increases their risk of eye infection or keratitis, as reported on USAToday.com.
If you wear contact lenses, don't make the same mistakes. Learn the do's and don'ts of contact lens care on these related EyeSmart pages: