A 25-year-old woman had a scary experience when she discovered that an itchy eye caused by her contact lenses was actually a corneal ulcer. Steph Carrasco, a recruitment consultant from Wales, had to undergo emergency cornea transplant surgery to save her eye. Corneal ulcers are open sores on the layer of the eye that covers the iris and pupil. People who wear contact lenses are more susceptible to corneal ulcers if they don’t clean their lenses properly or leave them in for too long, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Other factors that increase the risk of corneal ulcers include having or having had cold sores, shingles, chickenpox, using steroid eye drops, having dry eyes, or eyelid disorders. Symptoms of corneal ulcers include redness, pain, swelling, the feeling of having something in the eye, discharge, and a white spot on the cornea.
Carrasco sought medical help when her eye became itchy, and her optometrist, Jack Brenton, quickly identified it as an ulcer and arranged for immediate treatment at a hospital. She spent a week in the hospital where she received 72 eye drops per day to reduce the size of the ulcer. However, surgery was ultimately necessary.
While most corneal ulcers heal within two to three weeks with proper treatment, Carrasco’s case required a corneal transplant. She expressed gratitude for her optometrist and the hospital’s medical team who helped her during this difficult time. Three weeks after the surgery, Carrasco’s vision has improved, and she is expected to make a full recovery by October.
This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proper contact lens hygiene and regular eye check-ups. It is crucial to seek medical attention promptly if experiencing any unusual symptoms or discomfort related to contact lens use.
In a previous report, Insider highlighted the case of a man who developed permanent astigmatism and buildup behind his eyelids after wearing the same pair of lenses non-stop for three years.