A 25-year-old woman had a scary experience when an itchy eye 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. 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 factors that increase the risk 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 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 per 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. Thankfully, her vision has improved after the surgery, and doctors expect her to make a full recovery by October. Carrasco expressed her gratitude for her optometrist and the medical team at the hospital who helped her during this challenging time. It’s important to take proper care of contact lenses and seek medical attention if any unusual symptoms occur.

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