A Cincinnati man reportedly went completely blind in one eye after repeatedly sleeping with his contact lenses in.
According to BuzzFeed, 39-year-old Chad Groeschen's eyes began to itch last month due to what he assumed was a harmless allergic reaction. The following morning, he picked up some medicine after the itch turned into what felt like a sinus infection.
Groeschen sought an eye specialist the next day because he could now barely see out of his left eye, and the infection was also causing immense pain.
He was told his left eye became infected with pseudomonas bacteria, most likely because he slept in his contact lenses. When contacts are not replaced, bacteria get under the lenses, and Groeschen told BuzzFeed,
[The] contact kind of acts like a petri dish.
He is currently unable to see out of his left eye and would reportedly need to undergo a cornea transplant to get his vision back.
If anything happens to your eye seek a specialist immediately…(and) maintain impeccable hygiene when it comes to your eyes.
The contacts he wore were "extended wear," meaning the same pair can be worn for one to four weeks, Daily Mail reports.
But in 2013, a study by the American Academy of Ophthalmology discovered sleeping with contact lenses significantly increases the risk of corneal infection, no matter what type one is wearing.
Dr. Thomas Steinemann, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told BuzzFeed a contact wearer can lose his or her sight by falling victim to a "perfect storm" of careless acts including swimming with contact lenses, sleeping with contact lenses and not fully replacing his or her lens solution.
Of the reported 40 million wearers of contact lenses in the US, 99 percent succumb to such behaviors, according to a recently-released study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Citations: This Man Slept In His Contact Lenses And Is Now Blind In One Eye (BuzzFeed), Half of contact lens wearers risk going blind as Cincinnati man discloses he has lost vision in one eye after sleeping in his extended wear lenses (Daily Mail)