A month ago, 21-year-old Michael Krumholz from Florida, US, accidentally slept with his contact lenses on, and woke up with allergies and a pink eye. After 5 different ophthalmologists, 2 cornea specialists and two surgeries, he was diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis. A condition where his right eye was eaten by a very rare parasite.
According to Michael, due to his condition, he cannot work or go outside. He set up a Gofundme page on February 17.
Why? He wants to spread awareness about acanthamoeba keratitis and lens hygiene.
Dr Sridevi Haldar is a Cataract, Cornea and Lasik eye surgeon in Noida. She told dailyO, "Sleeping with your contact lenses on can always cause some or the other kind of infection or let bacteria grow. You should never sleep with your lenses on."
However, Dr Haldar also pointed out that acanthamoeba keratitis is very rare.
According to CDC, the incidence of the disease in developed countries is approximately one to 33 cases per million contact lens wearers.
Dr Haldar also said that there is a certain kind of contact lenses called bandage lenses that are made of silicon. One can sleep with these lenses on, but they are not for daily use.
While wearing the lenses:
While taking your lenses out:
The small points to remember: Wearing FDA-approved lenses or using a solution that is FDA-approved is really important, instead of going for just over-the-counter or random online finds.
Even before buying a pair of contact lenses, consulting your ophthalmologist regarding the brand and type of lens you want to choose is very important. Dr Haldar says that since there are plenty of different materials in the market, choose a pair that best suits your lifestyle needs.