Woman goes blind in one eye after parasite creeps its way behind contact lenses
A woman has told how she has been left blind in one eye after a parasitic worm ate its way through her cornea when she took a shower with her contact lenses on.
Suzanne Dunne, from Donabate in North Co Dublin, Ireland, says the parasite caused an infection in her right eye which gradually became more irritable.
On July 20, the pain got so severe, the nurse, who is in her 30s, said she woke up in the middle of the night not being able to see.
She told the Irish Mirror: I didnt know what was happening because everything was black. So, I crawled my way out of the bedroom and my husband Paul is a taxi driver and thank God he came in and he started screaming and he rang an ambulance.
My sight was gone, completely gone. The whole place was black. My eye was being pushed out by the parasite.
Suzanne was taken to Mater Hospital where a consultant told her because the weather had been so warm, parasites in the water had managed to get behind her contact lenses when she was having a shower.
She explained: It can only happen a contact lense wearer because the contact lense creates a vacuam in the eye. So if anything goes in behind it it makes it cling onto it.
It acts up after four hours so it happened to me in the shower. Id heard it was active in Asia. I didnt realise but if temperatures get anyway warm or heated its active in everyday water in Ireland.
Suzanne had to spend 16 days in hospital where she had to get bleach poured into her eye every day to kill the infection and was given morphine to deal with the pain.
The pain was like a searing hot knife through my eye. They were going to take the eye out. They were saying this is the Acanthamoeba virus and it has to go, she said.
She now wants to highlight how dangerous it is to wear lenses in water so it doesnt happen to anyone else.
She said: In warm conditions and because we havent had heat like this the parasite multiplies and its rampant. Even though the parasite is dead the damage is done.
Suzanne, who is a runner, still cant see through her eye and has to put in drops every half hour. But she still hopes to complete the Dublin Marathon later this year.