Teenager Nearly Goes Blind After Eye-Eating Parasite Grows on Her Contact Lens

After experiencing a throbbing pain and noticing redness in her right eye, Ashley Hyde, an 18-year-old high school senior, went to several doctors. None of them could figure out the problem.

"They did multiple cultures where they scrape your eye," Hyde told Local 10 in Florida. "One time, they had to drill into my eye. It was really nasty."

Eventually her doctors identified the infection as acanthamoeba, a microscopic parasite found in water that, if left untreated, would have eaten through Hyde's cornea. The doctor's blamed the infection on dirty contact lenses.

One of the doctors who spoke to Local 10 recommended tossing disposable contacts after each use.

"Every day, we see people come in with contact lens related to infections, complications, ulcers," said Dr. Adam Clarin, an optometric physician. "There are all things that are potentially blinding."

Clarin recommends patients use disposable contacts for daily use.

"There is nothing safer or healthier than throwing out the lens every day and starting with a new one the next day," added Clarin.

As for Hyde, she now has months of treatment ahead of her. Her advice? Change your damn contacts.

"I wouldn't risk it," she said. "It hurts like, oh my gosh, you can't even...I had to take so many antibiotics."

As with the woman who leaked brain fluid from her nose, the lesson here is clearly: always assume the worse. Or: change your contacts every day. Either works.

[via Daily Mail]