HEALTHY LIVING
10/10/2013 11:27 am ET

Amoeba Infection Threatens Woman's Sight After She Used Tap Water To Store Contact Lenses

How many times have you let your basic contact lens hygiene slide, not doing things like washing your hands before handling your lenses, using tap water instead of saline solution or sleeping in your lenses?

During a busy week at work, a woman named Erin was out of contact lens solution but didn't have time to buy any, so she used tap water to store her contact lenses.

That would soon prove to be a mistake: She contracted a rare amoeba infection that began to attack her cornea.

"The pain was excruciating," she told Dr. Travis Stork on The Doctors. She went to the ER, where doctors thought she had a simple eye infection and prescribed her a steroid. However, after the pain still did not go away, she visited an optometrist who realized that she had an amoeba infection.

"The steroid was, in fact, hiding the infection," she said. "It was keeping my sight but it was actually feeding the amoeba, via the steroid, making it stronger."

Stork noted that steroids can actually be detrimental in cases like this, because they make it harder for the body to fight off the infection.

To find out how Erin's vision has now been compromised because of the infection, watch the video above. And for more FAQs about contact lens hygiene and health, click here.

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