A 25-year-old woman had a scary experience when she discovered that her itchy eye was actually a corneal ulcer caused by wearing contact lenses. 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 developing corneal ulcers if they don’t properly clean their lenses 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 at a hospital. 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. Thankfully, her vision has improved since the surgery and doctors expect her to make a full recovery by October. Carrasco expressed gratitude for her optometrist and the medical team at the hospital who helped her during this frightening ordeal. It’s important to properly care for and clean contact lenses to avoid complications like corneal ulcers.

Categorized in: