A young woman nearly lost her sight when a parasite burrowed its way into her eye and started eating her cornea from the inside out.
Jessica Greaney, 18, thought that she had an eye infection, however within a week her left eye was all red and swollen to become eventually as big as a golf ball.
The teenager was then admitted to hospital where doctors told her that the parasite Acanthamoeba Keratitis was burrowing its way into her eyeball and could leave her blind.
1. Jessica Greaney, 18, was forced to go without sleep for a week, in order to stop a parasite burrowing further into her eye and leaving her blind. She is pictured in hospital with an enlarged eyeball.
In some cases, the parasite can cause death as it eats through the eye and into the spinal cord.
Jessica needed to have eye drops administered every ten minutes to kill the parasite, which left her unable to get any sleep for seven days in a row. She said:
I wasn’t allowed to sleep properly for nearly a week.
It was not dissimilar from Chinese water torture. After the fourth day, not only was I going insane and crying every five minutes, nothing was changing.
This parasite was still eating my eye and even worse, my immune system was shutting down because of my lack of sleep.
Even after she was discharged from hospital, Jessica kept taking 21 droplets a day until the swelling and redness finally subsided.
2. Doctors said that Jessica had caught the parasite Acanthamoeba Keratitis from splashing water on her contact lenses. It caused her eyelid to droop and her eye to swell and turn red (pictured left and right).
The woman first noticed that something wasn’t right when her left eyelid started drooping and she thought she had an eye infection.
Then a few days later, doctors misdiagnosed it as an ulcer. However, as the week went by, Jessica’s eye started to swell and turn red.
But, by the end of the week, my eye was bulging, and it looked like a huge red golf ball.
It was swollen, and extremely painful, and they admitted me into hospital.
After a test, Jessica was told that she had Acanthamoeba Keratitis — a parasite found in soil, fresh water and sea water.
Contact lens wearers are at risk of contracting Acanthamoeba Keratitis if they clean their lenses or lens cases in tap water or swim or shower with their lenses on.
Doing so makes it possible for the parasite to become trapped between the lens and the eye and then burrow its way into the eyeball.
3. Jessica said being forced to stay awake for a week was like “Chinese water torture” and her immune system grew weak from the lack of sleep. She is pictured after recovering from the infection.
In Jessica’s case, the parasite found its way into her eye because she kept her lenses near the sink and they were splashed with tap water. Jessica said:
Apparently, all water has tonnes of different types of bacteria and the Acanthamoeba just happens to be one of them.
One of my contact lenses got contaminated, and the parasite survived in the area between the lens and my eye.
If left untreated, Acanthamoeba Keratitis can cause sight problems, paralysis and even death as the parasite eats its way through the eye and into the spinal cord.
Source: The Tab.
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