A Colorado mother completely lost her vision in one eye after a microscopic parasite latched onto her cornea as she was swimming while wearing her contact lenses.
49-year-old Stacey Peoples is now warning others about how it occurred.
On the 4th of Jul y 2014 she was on vacation in Michigan with her family when she contracted the rare parasitic infection.
This rare infection known as ‘acanthamoeba keratitis’ is where an amoeba attacks the outer layer of the eye.
In Stacey’s case, doctors believe that the microscopic parasite latched onto her cornea after swimming with her son while wearing contact lenses.
“My eye looked like a zombie’s, the pain was so intense. It felt like someone was snapping a rubber band against my eyeball every four or five seconds,”she recalls.
Initially Stacey was actually misdiagnosed with conjunctivitis but her symptoms got worse.
She was rushed to hospital after experiencing intense migraines and completely losing vision in the eye.
“All I could see was white,” the mom of four said. “The pain was so, so bad, I asked them to take my eye, but they said that they needed to do everything to save it.”
Stacey took a seven-month leave from her job in order to fight the virulent parasitic infection, where she had to apply eye drops every few hours to kill it off.
“I was prescribed eye drops which essentially contain pool cleaner to kill the parasite,” Stacey explained.
In 2015, the colarado mother regained sight in her left eye after undergoing a cornea transplant.
Stacey says, “They removed my damaged cornea and replaced it, when the patch came off two days after the surgery, it was amazing.”
She now has 20/20 vision in her eye with glasses on and warns others about the dangers of wearing contacts in water.
“This is rare but it can happen, even if you’ve been doing it for 20 years like me,” she said.
Apparently 85% of Acanthamoeba keratitis cases occur with contact lens wearers due to the lenses creating micro-tears in the eye, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
These small tears enable the parasite to attach easier to the cornea once it comes in contact with the eye.
Take a look at video below to learn more about Stacey’s story.
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