A sculptor from Cincinnati who slept with his contact lenses has gone blind, after developing a corneal ulcer. Thomas Steinemann, a clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology said sleeping in contact lenses could lead to severe eye infections and even blindness.
Chad Groeschen, 39, visited the doctor for his itchy eyes, but realized his serious condition when he awoke with severe pain and total loss of vision in his left eye. Groeschen developed a corneal ulcer infected with Pseudomonas bacteria, after he slept with his lenses for almost a week. Groeschen eye shows the pupil clouded over with gray film, and the white of the eye transformed into an angry red color.
“The kind of contacts I have, are called “Night and Day’ contacts, and it was my impression you could leave them for 30 days straight,” said Groeschen.
Steinemann said that even a brief nap in contacts could be a bad idea. Groeschen will now require a cornea transplant to restore his vision, and advised people to maintain “impeccable hygiene” in the eyes. A study by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that an estimated 41 million make at least one mistake while maintaining their lens. The survey also found that 50 percent users wear contact lenses during sleep, and 82.3 users use their lenses longer than recommended.
CDC Medical Epidemiologist Jennifer Cope said that good vision contributes to overall well-being and independence for people of all ages, so it’s important not to cut corners on healthy contact lens wear and care. Some of the tips for safe contact lens use are replacing contact lenses on time. Using clean solution each time and discarding lens cases every three months. Water should be avoided while wearing contact lenses and sleeping with contact lenses should be avoided.
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