Sleeping With Contacts Can Lead To Vision Loss, Cincinnati Man Warns After Losing His Eyesight

After 39-year-old Chad Groeschen of Cincinnati, Ohio, lost his sight as a result of sleeping with contacts, he made it his obligation to warn others about the dangers of eye contacts, reports the Huffington Post. Last month, while working on an outdoor deck, Groeschen’s left eye became itchy, but paid it no mind, as he believed it stemmed from allergies.

However, the following morning, his eye worsened when he discovered his vision in his left eye was impaired, and a gooey-like substance was stuck in his eye. Groeschen, as well as his friend, became worried about the condition of his eye — therefore, his friend referred him to the Cincinnati Eye Institute, where doctors told him that he developed a “terrifying condition” called Pseudomonas bacterial infection.

According to Cosmopolitan, the infection stemmed from wearing his contact lenses for an extended period of time. He was prescribed antibiotics to rid him of the infectious bacteria, but doctors couldn’t save his vision. As the time ensued, his vision became worse until he was completely blind. Sleeping with contacts ultimately led to a corneal ulcer, and he is now blind in his left eye.

“It’s like looking through an opaque piece of glass. The infection kind of eats your cornea,” said Groeschen. “As the infection goes away, the scar tissue from the infection impairs your vision.”

“Individuals are likely doing at least one, if not more, of these behaviors,” said Dr. Jennifer R. Cope who is a medical epidemiologist. “We think that there’s an event where maybe you seed the contact lens or your case with one of the microorganisms that can cause infection, and then subsequent behavior can allow that to amplify, so it’s causing an infection.”

He told reporters that before he decided to sleep in his contact lenses, he read the box which stated that it would safe to do. But according to Dr. William Faulkner, who treated Groeschen, said: “Safety is primary for the eyes and if contacts are worn overnight, that would not be my recommendation. If someone chooses to wear contacts, the daily-wear, disposable are by far the safest.”

Groeschen’s eye sight could be restored, according to specialists, if he underwent a cornea transplant. However, it would take nearly a year for him to recover, which would complicate the “design-based renovations” business he operates.

Ophthalmologists say that eye infections are preventable for contact wearers if they wash their hands before touching their contacts, replace their contacts every three months, apply disinfection solution to lens case each time contact is removed, and use fresh solution each time the contacts are removed from the case.

[Image via YouTube Screen Capture]

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