“It was a bright but chilly Friday afternoon in January last year when I first noticed something seriously wrong. My right eye had been a bit dry all week, but I simply put it down to early mornings and a lack of sleep. But this was something more,” shared Humphreys who’s a local journalist from Shrewsbury, Shropshire.
He said he’s been wearing glasses since the age of four or five but was never happy the way he looked in them. Humphreys started using contact lenses in 2013.
“I’ve lost 18 months of my life because of something as simple as showering with contacts in.”https://t.co/kg8ojH42f0
— Shropshire Star (@ShropshireStar) July 9, 2019
How Did the Infection Happen?
Humphreys said he consulted few eye specialists and had five scrapings from his infected eye sent for testing. The results showed that his eye was infected by Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a micro-organism found in water.
“After using disinfectant eye drops for three weeks, it seemed I was on the mend, but by March 2018 I found myself completely blind in my right eye,” he wrote.
He said if he would have ever known that contact lenses under the shower can cause such an infection, he would have never worn it.
“It’s crucial that people out there know this is a reality and can happen because of something as simple as showering,” wrote Humphreys on Shropshire Star.
Contact Lens Dangers
Fight for Sight conducted a poll in July this year that proved that many people in the United Kingdom put their eyesight under risk due to unhealthy contact lens habits, reported News Medical Life Sciences.
The poll showed that 56 percent of those who participated in it, admitted that they wear contact lenses for more than 12 hours continuously which is the recommended time. 54 percent said they have gone swimming or showered with contact lenses on and 47 percent said they slept while wearing them.
News Medical Life Sciences reported that Acanthamoeba keratitis, the microorganism that infected Humphreys, infects 1.2 to 3 million people every year around the world.
If not treated immediately it can lead to complete loss of eye vision.
Contact Lenses Care Tips
The U.S. Drug and Food Administration (FDA) has given important care tips for contact lenses users. It says that they are the most preferred choice for the majority of people with vision correction needs.
It says a user should clean, rinse, and air dry contact lenses after each time they are removed and before each time they are used.
“Do not expose your contact lenses to any water: tap, bottled, distilled, lake or ocean water,” said the FDA.
It also released a video in public interest abut safe contact lens care.
“Contact your eye care professional if you experience any symptoms of eye irritation or infection,” said the FDA.
According to All About Vision, if water enters the eye while swimming, one should immediately remove the contact lenses and clean and disinfect them before using again. It says proper lens care can reduce the risk of contamination.