Woman goes blind after amoeba eat her eyeballs
Taiwanese undergrad student Lian Kao lost her sight when an army of cornea-eating amoeba went to town on her eyeballs after she failed to remove and wash her disposable contact lenses for more than six months.
According to the Daily Mail, 23-year-old student kept her contacts in 24/7, and even wore them while swimming—a big ol' no-no, considering most contact lenses are only meant to be worn for approximately 8 hours.
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Eventually, Kao was forced to remove her contacts after she developed some serious eye health problems. When medics at Taipei's Wan Fang Hospital removed the overused lenses from Kao's eyes, they found that her cornea had literally been eaten by the amoeba that had been able to breed beneath her gross, overused contact lenses.
According to Wang Fang's director of opthamology, Wu Jiang-liang, Kao essentially suffocated her eyes with her lenses, which caused tiny little cracks in her eye through which bacteria were able to climb in and start munching away at her corneas.
"The girl should have thrown the contact lenses away after a month but instead she over used them and now has permanently damaged her corneas," admonished Jiang-laing. Yeah, ya think?
Kao was diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare and scary condition that is most likely to develop during the summer. Even scarier, people who've developed acanthamoeba don't usually know they have the eye disease until after the bugs have burrowed into their cornea. "Contact lens wearers are a high risk group that can easily be exposed to eye diseases," warns Jian-Liang. In fact, there are approximately 6,000 cases of a severe eye condition known as microbial keratitis reported each year. A disease, by the way, which can be prevented by simply removing and cleaning your contact lenses on a daily basis, and tossing them before or by their expiration date.
I think I'm going to be sick. Not only because this story is straight-up disgusting, but also because I've definitely been guilty of overusing my own contact lenses. In fact, I'd been wearing my latest pair well passed their expiration date, and only tossed them upon learning of Kao's terrible experience. I don't have any back-up contacts left, so I'll be wearing my glasses for the foreseeable future, which is just fine. I'd rather have four eyes than no eyes at all.