A 25-year-old woman had a scary experience when she discovered that what she thought was just an itchy eye caused by contact lenses turned out to be 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. While they are usually caused by infection or severe dry eye, people who wear contact lenses are at a higher risk if they don’t clean their lenses properly or leave them in for too long. Other factors that increase the risk of corneal ulcers 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 the feeling of having something in the eye. 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 where she received 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 proper treatment, but in rare cases like Carrasco’s, a corneal transplant is necessary. Fortunately, her vision has improved after the surgery, and doctors expect her to make a full recovery by October. Carrasco expressed gratitude for her optometrist and the hospital’s medical team who helped her during this challenging time. This incident serves as a reminder of the importance of proper contact lens hygiene and regular eye check-ups.

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