A man went blind in one eye after sleeping with his contact lenses in for nearly a week.
Chad Groeschen, 39, of Cincinatti, Ohio, was at work last month when his eyes began to itch, according to Buzzfeed News. He woke up the next day feeling under the weather and went to the doctor for medicine. His vision was cloudy, but he remained mostly calm and wasn’t concerned.
The day after, however, Groeschen woke up with severe pain in his left eye and almost no vision in it. He visited a specialist, who informed him that his eye had become infected with Pseudomonas bacteria. The bacteria, according to his doctors, came about from sleeping in his extended-wear contacts.
“The kind of contacts I have are called 'Night and Day' contacts, and it was my impression you could leave them in for 30 days straight,” Groeschen told USA Today. “I figured the less I was messing with my eyes, the better."
Doctors informed Groeschen that the bacteria most likely got under his lens and began attacking his eye, acting “like a petri dish.”
Though it seems like a rare occurrence, such an infection is actually fairly common.
“The lens case can get dirty, and germs from the case get onto the lens or vice versa, and eventually they get onto your eye and attack your cornea,” American Academy of Ophthalmology Thomas Steinemann told USA Today.
Steinemann reportedly treats several cases like Groeschen’s per year.
“It is more common than you might realize,” he added.
The most effective ways to prevent such an infection is to avoid water while wearing contact lenses, avoid sleeping in them, and always replace them on time.
“One thing that we see people doing a lot is using the lenses beyond the lifetime of the lens,” Steinemann said. “If it's a two-week lens, they keep it four or six weeks, if it's one month, they keep it two."
According to doctors, Groeschen will most likely need a cornea transplant if he wishes to regain vision in his eye.