Chad Groeschen, 39, of Cincinnati, Ohio, is sharing his experience as a warning after sleeping with his contact lenses in caused him to go blind in his left eye, according to the Huffington Post. Groeschen was wearing contact lenses that claimed they are safe for overnight wear, according to a news report by ABC Channel 9 On Your Side.
On a Friday afternoon in August, Groeschen said his left eye began to itch, but he attributed the itch to allergies. By the next morning his eye was “goopy” and by Sunday morning his vision began to get worse, the Huffington Post reported.
Following a friend’s recommendation, Groeschen scheduled an appointment with the Cincinnati Eye Institute where a doctor told him that he had contracted a Pseudomonas bacterial infection. Doctors told Groeschen that the bacteria built up under the lens and spread to his eye, according to the Huffington Post.
While the infection is curable, Groeschen developed a corneal ulcer which left behind scar tissue. This scar tissue caused him to lose the vision in his left eye, the Huffington Post said.
“For about three weeks it was almost like an 8-inch nail being driven into … my eye. The pain was pretty severe and debilitating. … It’s scary how quickly something like this can happen,” Groeschen told Channel 9.
Groeschen told the Huffington Post that he could get his vision back but it may require a cornea transplant and a year of recovery.
According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study, 99 percent of individuals who responded to a survey about contacts usage said they routinely participate in one or more “risky behaviors” including wearing contacts longer than recommended, wearing lenses while sleeping and not cleaning out their cases properly.
The CDC recommends contact users do the following to reduce their risk of infection:
— Wash and dry hands before touching lenses.
— Remove contacts before sleeping, swimming or showering.
— Rub and rinse contact lenses each time they are removed.
— Replace cases every three months.