A young woman in Wales narrowly avoided losing her eye after what she initially thought was just an itch caused by wearing contact lenses turned out to be a corneal ulcer. Steph Carrasco, a 25-year-old recruitment consultant, underwent 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. They are usually caused by infections or severe dry eye, and people who wear contact lenses are more susceptible 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 discharge. Carrasco sought medical help when her eye became itchy, and her optometrist quickly identified the 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. While most corneal ulcers heal within a few weeks with proper treatment, Carrasco’s case required a corneal transplant. She expressed gratitude for her optometrist and the hospital staff who saved her eye. It is important to properly care for contact lenses and seek medical attention for any unusual symptoms or discomfort.

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