A 25-year-old woman from Cardiff, Steph Carrasco, had a close call with losing her eyesight after an ulcer developed on her eye, which she had initially dismissed as itchy contact lens.
According to the Daily Mail, Carrasco thought that the itchiness was a common irritation from her regular contact lens use. However, a visit to the opticians revealed that she was facing a severe corneal ulcer caused by an aggressive bacteria.
Terrified and experiencing significant vision impairment, Carrasco was immediately referred to a specialist eye hospital. For a week, she underwent treatment aimed at reducing the size of the ulcer, including administering 72 eye drops per day.
Nevertheless, the ulcer persisted, leaving doctors with no choice but to do a cornea transplant to save her vision.
Woman’s eye saved from irreversible damage as itchy lens unveils ulcer from ‘harsh’ bacteria
A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea, the clear layer over the colored part of the eye.
Although most ulcers can be treated with antibiotics or antifungal eye drops, severe cases can lead to permanent sight loss through scarring. In Carrasco’s case, the ulcer did not respond to antibacterial drops, necessitating a corneal transplant.
Contact lens wearers have a higher risk of developing corneal ulcers, particularly if they wear their lenses overnight. This heightened risk is due to the potential presence of bacteria on the lenses or in the cleaning solution, which can get trapped under the lens and cause infections.
Scratches on the lens edges can also contribute to the formation of corneal ulcers.
Steph Carrasco, who was fortunate eventually, received news from medical professionals that the bacteria in her eye was very aggressive.
If she had waited to receive treatment, she could have potentially lost her eye completely. The experience caused her to recognize the significance of cherishing her vision and appreciating her good fortune.
Corneal ulcers and contact lens wear – Why it is a heightened risk and how to mitigate it
Optometrist Jack Brenton, who treated Carrasco, stressed the urgency of promptly addressing aggressive bacterial infections.
He emphasized the significance of regular eye check-ups and seeking professional advice promptly if there’re any concerns about eye health or vision. Brenton expressed relief that Carrasco’s condition was detected early, allowing for her successful treatment and recovery.
Carrasco’s vision has improved now, and complete recovery is expected by October. Nevertheless, the incident serves as a reminder of the potential risks associated with contact lens use, particularly the need for diligent adherence to lens hygiene practices.
Experts emphasize the importance of getting regular sight tests during National Eye Health Week, typically every two years or more often, if needed. They also emphasize the importance of seeking immediate medical attention from an eye doctor if there’re any concerns about eye health or vision.
Steph Carrasco’s case demonstrates the importance of detecting corneal ulcers caused by aggressive bacteria early on, seeking medical help promptly and receiving appropriate treatment.
By prioritizing eye health and maintaining good lens hygiene, people who wear contact lenses can minimize the risks associated with corneal ulcers and protect their vision.