Contact Lens Infection Left Her Partially Blind

What you should never do with your contact lenses…

She woke up one Saturday about six years ago and realized that tears were dripping from her right eye. Irênio Ekkeshis (36) went to the pharmacy and took some eye drops. After a few days she learned that she had the so-called Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a rare but serious eye infection, reports

“I thought it was a small infection and that it will pass by Monday. However, I realized that I cannot even get into my own kitchen because I could not stand the neon lamp, it was too painful”, she recalls.

She went to a specialized hospital where the doctors started healing her with the corneal abrasion. “It was as awful as it sounds, you see the needle that goes straight into your eye. It hurt even though they dripped pain killers into my eyes, “she told the BBC.

After a few days, she learned that she had the Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), a rare but serious eye infection, caused by a micro-organism found in tap water and pools.

She says she’d never showered with lenses in her eyes, and she never swam in a pool with them.

She’s been wearing lenses for 12 years

“But I found out that you can get infected even if you touch the lens with wet hands after washing,” said a young woman.

At the age of 12, Irienie decided to replace her thick glasses with contact lenses. At the age of 30, she began to wear daily lenses, the ones you wear during the day and throw away in the evening. Until then, she had no problems with them.

The infection damages the cornea. Ekkeshis first got an antiseptic, doctors told her that they began to treat the infection very early and it was only a matter of weeks when it will be completely resolved.

Her condition was not getting better, but worse. Her eye began to hurt unbearably. In May 2013, she had to undergo a cornea transplantion and it seemed successful. After 10 days her vision began to blur again.

“The eye exam found that the AK moved to the new cornea. I was again where I’ve started, “she said. The second transplant was done in 2014. Meanwhile, Irênio accepted her impaired vision.

“My advice to people is simple, never let your lenses come in contact with water, either in the shower or in the pool, even when you wash your hands,” she concluded.