Teen Girl Ashley Hyde Nearly Lose Sight After Contact Lens Parasite

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When people begin wearing contact lenses for the first time, they are warned of the dangers that can come of it, like infections or dry eyes, but it is unlikely anyone is prepared to endure a parasite that eats through one's cornea.

Ashley Hyde, 18, nearly lost her eyesight after a parasite began to grow in her eye. The parasite spread to her eye through her contacts.

But it took some torturous procedures to get that diagnosis, one involving a doctor drilling into part of her eye to scrape some of the parasite out.

Doctors determined the parasite was called Acanthamoeba. It is a microscopic parasite found in water and soil that is often spread through contact lenses, cuts, skin wounds or by being inhaled.

Hyde was left with blurred vision and an extremely red eye.

"They did multiple cultures where they scrape your eye," she said. "One time they had to drill into my eye. It was really nasty."

Though she is on the mend, she was told she must have months of treatment for the parasite to completely go away.

Dr. Adam Clarin, an optometric physician, said it is ideal to change contact lenses every day.

"There is nothing safer or healthier than throwing out the lens every day and starting with a new one the next day," he said.

"Every day, we see people come in with contact lens related infections, complications, ulcers."

"These are all things that are potentially blinding."

Hyde said that she regrets not changing her lenses every day. 

"It hurts," she said. "I wouldn't risk it."

Sources: Daily Mail, Local 10

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