A 25-year-old woman had a frightening experience when she discovered that what she thought was a simple itch caused by her 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 can be more susceptible 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 healthcare workers administered 72 eye drops a day to reduce the size of the ulcer, but ultimately surgery was necessary. Most corneal ulcers heal within two to three weeks with proper treatment, but in rare cases like Carrasco’s, a corneal transplant is required. Carrasco expressed her gratitude to her optometrist and the hospital’s medical team for their assistance during her ordeal. It is important to take proper care of contact lenses and seek medical attention if any unusual symptoms arise.

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