A 23-year-old student in Taiwan is blind after leaving disposable contact lenses in her eyes for six months.
Lian Kao didn’t remove or clean the contact lenses in her eyes for six months, and as a result, her eyeballs were eaten away by a microscopic bug. Experts explain that the lack of oxygen to the student’s eyeballs caused small wounds, which in turn allowed for bacteria to enter.
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“Contact lens wearers are a high-risk group that can easily be exposed to eye diseases,” Wu Jiang-liang, director of ophthalmology at Wan Fang Hospital, said. “A shortage of oxygen can destroy the surface of the epithelial tissue, creating tiny wounds into which the bacteria can easily infect, spreading to the rest of the eye and providing a perfect breeding ground. The girl should have thrown the contact lenses away after a month but instead she overused them and has now permanently damaged her corneas.”
The student has officially been diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare condition that is seen more during the summer months. Dr. Jiang-liang says he has publicly confirmed the girl’s story in the hopes that others will start to think about their contact lenses.