Chad Groeschen says he has a “cautionary tale.”
WARNING: Graphic images below.
While at work late last month, the 39-year-old noticed his left eye was especially itchy. He thought it was just allergies.
The next day, Groeschen said, he woke up to find that his eye was “kind of goopy” and his vision was impaired. The day after that, his vision was even worse.
A friend referred Groeschen to the Cincinnati Eye Institute, where doctors told him his eye was infected with Pseudomonas bacteria. The disease can “incubate” underneath contact lenses, Groeschen said.
Doctors gave him antibiotics that have gotten rid of the infection, but he had developed a corneal ulcer and is now blind in one eye because of the scar tissue the bacteria left behind.
“It’s like looking through an opaque piece of glass. The infection kind of eats your cornea,” Groeschen said. “As the infection goes away, the scar tissue from the infection impairs your vision.”
He added that the specialists he has seen tell him he’ll likely need a cornea transplant to restore his vision, which takes a year to fully recover from.
Groeschen, who runs a design-based renovations business, said he’s behind on all his work projects and has had to cancel a vacation.
The box for the contacts Groeschen wore overnight claims it’s OK to sleep in them, he said.
Dr. William Faulkner, who treated Groeschen, told Cincinnati’s Local 12 that wearing contacts overnight is not a good idea.
“Safety is primary for the eyes and if contacts are worn overnight, that would not be my recommendation,” Faulkner said. “If someone chooses to wear contacts, the daily-wear, disposable are by far the safest.”
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Thursday found that 99 percent of contact users reported at least one “risky behavior” including:
Keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended (82.3 percent);
“Topping off” solution in the case—adding new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the case out fully before adding new solution (55.1 percent);
Wearing their lenses while sleeping (50.2 percent).