An eye doctor has shared horrifying photographs in a bid to warn people against sleeping with their contact lenses in.
Dr. Patrick Vollmer, an ophthalmologist from North Carolina’s Vita Eye Clinic, shared photographs of a patient who had suffered from a cultured pseudomonas ulcer after she frequently went to sleep before removing her contact lenses.
These gruesome photographs show how bacteria had eaten away at the woman’s cornea, with her eyes left glazed over and secreting a thick yellowish pus.
This was reportedly the fourth case of cultured pseudomonas that Dr. Vollmer has treated at his clinic in Shelby, an infection which can lead to permanent blindness. Dr. Vollmer has said it is likely that this patient will suffer some residual vision loss.
Posting on the Vita Eye Clinic Facebook page, Dr. Vollmer wrote:
“I sleep in my contacts all the time and I’ve never had a problem.”
As an eye doctor, I literally hear this daily. The pictures below show a referred case from the local urgent care, a subsequently cultured pseudomonas ulcer, and are the direct result of sleeping in contact lenses.
Pseudomonas (bacteria) is an important cause of ocular morbidity and its opportunistic characteristics quickly lead to permanent blindness. This will be the 4th case of cultured pseudomonas that I’ve treated in my clinic.
Dr. Vollmer then proceeded to go into shuddering detail about the damage cultured pseudomonas can inflict upon a person’s eyeball:
The bacteria explosively eats away at the patients cornea in a matter of days leaving a soupy, white necrosis (dead tissue) in its wake.
I was able to start this patient on fortified antibiotic drops around the clock and recently steroids to reduce permanent scarring. While this patient’s eye continues to drastically improve from baseline, she will very likely exhibit some form of residual vision loss even after treatment.
Dr. Vollmer continued:
To be very clear, I don’t ever recommend sleeping in any brand of SOFT contact lenses. The risks outweigh the benefits every time.
It takes seconds to remove your contacts but a potential lifetime of irreversible damage if you choose to leave them in. People need to see these images and remind themselves/family/friends to also be aware of contact lens misuse.
This post has since gone viral and has been shared nearly 50,000 times at the time of writing. People have been shocked by how such a seemingly simple thing can have such devastating consequences.
One person commented:
Well, [I] was on my way to bed with my contacts in my eyes, I’ve just got up and taken them out. [I] definitely wanna see my son grow up.
I learned real quick after never taking mine out like I should have and they embedded into my eye. I couldn’t wear contacts for 6 months. And now I can’t ever again due to losing tear ducts. Be wise people.
Let’s just hope this post will drive home the importance of removing contact lenses before bedtime.
A moment of inconvenience when you’re feeling sleepy is well worth it if it means protecting your eyesight in the long term.
If you have a story you want to tell send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.