A Nottingham University student’s eye had been eaten from the inside from a parasite found in on-campus water, according to Mirror.
First-year student Jess Greaney, 19, of Birmingham, began having eye irritations around March, 2014, but decided to ignore the discomfort and continued on with her day. However, after her eye began to turn red, swell, and cause excruciating pain, she was advised by her friend to see a doctor.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) May 16, 2015
Once at the hospital, physicians initially thought it was an ulcer, but upon further tests, it was uncovered that a parasite called acanthamoeba keratitis had made its way into her eye, and began eating her cornea.
After the eye-eating parasite was discovered, physicians used a clamp to keep her eye open as they scraped a layer off using a scalpel.
Jess also had to undergo a series of treatments that caused her to stay awake for a week.
“I still have the parasite in my eye. It’s hard to say how long it takes to get rid of it. It was quite weird, it was just constant pain. My eye was just closing by itself. I couldn’t keep it open,” she said.
“I thought it was just going to be a normal eye infection but one of my friends said ‘I’m going to take you to hospital I don’t want anything to happen.’
“[Hospital staff] were really good in telling me how serious it was — they were all really nice. I was really upset. It was in my cornea, eating away.
“The first few days it was quite hard — they kept me awake day and night for four days. It was alright at first, all my friends came to see me. Then it was Easter and a lot of them had to go home.”
After a week-long of excruciating pain, she was released from the hospital, but had to apply 44 drops of eye solution in order to save the cornea that the parasite had eaten.
Jess was horrified when she learned that she had caught the eye-eating parasite from washing her face in her dorm room sink. She even informed other students by posting an article on the student news site called The Tab.
In the article, she calls the experience, “my eye-h*** horror.”
“If water contaminates a lens, it can cause this type of infection. The parasite survives in the area between the lens and the eye, and it eats away at the cornea, through the eye, and eventually into the spinal cord,” she wrote.
“If so much as a droplet of water gets into contact with the lens, problems can occur. I got my infection by just leaving my contact lenses near my sink, in a glass of solution.”
Jess’ eye has improved since the parasite began eating her eye, she is now down to using 22 eye drops per day.
[Image courtesy of Mirror]