A woman had to have her left eye removed after contracting a parasite infection while showering while wearing contact lenses.
Mary Mason, 54, from the UK believes she was infected with a parasite while in the shower. At the time, she was wearing 30-day contact lenses.
“The parasite would go under the lens and then multiply until my eyes were full,” she told BBC News.
Mason first noticed something was wrong in 2015.
“I started to feel like there was something in my eyes, like a grain of sand or gravel, which when rubbed in should naturally disappear, but it didn’t,” she explains.
Then the ophthalmologist advised the lady to go to the hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with acanthamoeba keratitis.
What is Acanthamoeba keratitis?
Acanthamoeba keratitis is a rare infection caused by a microorganism that infects the outer layer of the eye, the cornea.
It occurs more frequently in people who wear contact lenses. However, anyone can catch it. Bathing or cleaning contact lenses with tap water increases the risk of keratitis.
If the infection is not treated, it can cause pain and blindness.
In the UK, 150 to 200 people are infected each year.
“Very few of them have lost their eyes, but about half of them will lose a significant portion of their vision,” John Dart, professor emeritus at the University of California, Los Angeles, UK’s Institute of Ophthalmology, says in an interview with the BBC.
Unfortunately, this was the case with Mary Mason.
Five years later, after multiple treatments with medication, eye drops, and three corneal transplants, Mary Mason had to make a difficult decision: She had no choice but to have her left eye removed.
She is now wearing a fake prosthesis since the operation two years ago.