Chad Groeschen, from Cincinnati, experienced what he thought was an allergic reaction in his eye one day. But, as he told BuzzFeed, he couldn't possibly have known what was actually happening to him.
We all get dry and itchy eyes from allergies occasionally. That’s pretty normal, right?
Then, the next day, he woke up feeling like he had a sinus infection. Still pretty normal.
The next day? He woke up unable to see from his left eye and experiencing extreme pain.
The specialist he saw then let him know that he had acquired Pseudomonas bacteria.
Where did he get it? From his contacts. Most likely, said doctors, the bacteria got under his lens and just grew there, attacking his eye mercilessly and using his contact as a petri dish.
And there’s bad news for contact wearers. He got this bacteria even though he was wearing extended-wear contacts.
Though those types of contacts are safer for overnight wear than regular ones, of course. But the American Academy of Opthamology stated in 2013 that “overnight wear, regardless of contact lens type, increases the likelihood of corneal infection.”
As for Groeschen? He’s now completely blind in his left eye.
And doctors say this isn’t even uncommon. Most of the infections aren’t as serious as Groeschen’s, but Dr. Thomas Steinmann of the American Academy of Ophthalmology says that he treats several cases per year.
Most people just contract it from routine bad habits, such as sleeping in contacts, not replacing their contacts in the recommended amount of time, and not replacing their contact solution every time.
Of course, no one is perfect, but any one or combination of these mistakes can least to a serious infection.
Chad Groeschen made routine mistakes, and now he will probably need a cornea transplant if he wants to ever see out of his left eye again.
He hopes that people will read his story and be inspired to practice better eye hygiene.
"If anything happens to your eye," Groeschen said in a statement to BuzzFeed, "contact a specialist immediately, and maintain impeccable hygiene when it comes to your eyes."
What mistakes do you make with your contacts?
Photo Copyright © 2015 Chad Groeschen/Facebook