A 25-year-old woman had a scary experience when an itch in her eye turned out to be a corneal ulcer. Steph Carrasco, a recruitment consultant from Wales, needed emergency 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. Other risk factors include having cold sores, shingles, chicken pox, using steroid eye drops, having dry eyes, or eyelid disorders. Symptoms of corneal ulcers include redness, pain, swelling, and a white spot on the cornea. Carrasco’s optometrist quickly identified her ulcer and arranged for immediate treatment. She spent a week in the hospital receiving 72 eye drops a day to reduce the size of the ulcer, but ultimately needed surgery. Most corneal ulcers heal within two to three weeks with treatment, but in rare cases like Carrasco’s, a corneal transplant is necessary. Carrasco’s vision has improved since the surgery and she is expected to make a full recovery by October. She expressed gratitude for her optometrist and the hospital’s medical team. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proper contact lens hygiene.

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