If you frequently fall asleep while wearing your contact lenses, you might want to be a little more cautious. In a frightening event, a man in Florida who was wearing contact lenses when he went to sleep lost eyesight in one of his eyes. The 21-year-old young man Michael Krumholz who went partially blind in his left eye after waking up from a 40-minute nap with his contact lenses on, still cannot believe that a flesh-eating bacteria could eat his eye and completely turn around his otherwise healthy life.
What started as a vision distortion soon turned into excruciating pain and a gradual loss of vision in the affected eye. When he woke up from his slumber, he “felt like bad allergies or maybe even pink eye”. When he visited a doctor, he was misdiagnosed with HSV1 in his eye, he wrote on his gofundme.com page. After visiting five different ophthalmologists and two cornea specialists, he was diagnosed with a very rare parasite in his eye, called acanthamoeba keratitis. “I have had 2 surgeries so far, called PDT relocation of the conjunctival flap and a corneal transplant,” he added.
The rare infection Acanthamoeba keratitis can cause permanent vision loss or complete blindness, and it’s most common in people who wear contact lenses. This infection is caused by an amoeba, a microscopic, single-celled organism that infiltrates the eye and begins to consume the layers of the cornea. Acanthamoeba can be found in a variety of environments, including the air, soil, lakes, and oceans, but the majority of infections are caused by exposure to fresh water sources. The tiny amoeba infiltrates the eye and begins to consume the layers of the cornea, destroying tissue and moving through the eye. Most infections occur as a result of exposure to freshwater sources like tap water, swimming pools, hot tubs, showers, and sewage systems.
Experts have warned that the infection can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness. Although it is rare, people who wear contact lenses are more likely to develop this infection. However, it can happen to anyone and it is not contagious.