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Infections: blindness and hair loss from contact lenses


The story of Claire Wilkinson from Brisbane in Australia sounds like a nightmare come true. A parasite in her contact lens caused infernal pain, blindness and hair loss to the 38-year-old, and her feet swelled twice. The woman has been fighting the consequences of the infection for 10 years now and is now hoping for help with a new technology.

Pain shortly after inserting the lenses
Claire Wilkinson has had an extremely painful time for many years. The horror began in 2007, according to a Daily Mail report, when she put her contact lenses in her eyes as usual. After 30 minutes, violent pain suddenly appeared - the beginning of a long history of suffering.

The patient does not trust the diagnosis
The 38-year-old noticed that it was mainly light that triggered the pain and could therefore only go outdoors with sunglasses. When visiting a general practitioner, she was diagnosed with conjunctivitis - an inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye, which is referred to in technical jargon as conjunctivitis. But the patient had doubts from the start: “I knew that it was not. I knew that conjunctivitis didn't cause such pain, ”Wilkinson told the Daily Mail.

Akanthamöben infection can have nasty consequences
She consulted an eye specialist and was certain that it was not a "simple" inflammation. Because the doctor discovered the rare infectious disease Acanthamoeba keratitis - an eye disease that can have serious consequences such as blindness or loss of the eye.

The triggers are the so-called Akanthamöben, which occur in the earth, in water and in air conditioning systems. The infection can occur, for example, if soft contact lenses come into contact with contaminated tap water or the lenses are used after swimming without having washed your hands with soap beforehand.

Paralysis and swollen feet
The parasite caused Claire Wilkinson to go blind. In addition to the massive pain, she suffered from paralysis and hair loss, and her feet swelled to twice the size. “I was in such agony that I wanted to die. It felt like broken glass cutting through the eye, ”says the patient. “I could tell when the parasites were awake and when they were sleeping. They had offspring in my eye. It was disgusting, ”Wilkinson continues.

Stroke from brain surgery
Various treatment approaches have failed in recent years. Prescribed eye drops caused excruciating ulcers on her left eye, brain surgery triggered a stroke, and a complete corneal transplant was unsuccessful.

Now Ms. Wilkinson hopes to be treated with a new technology at the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, which specializes in eye diseases, and plans to emigrate to the UK to do so. "I know of an operation in London that you wouldn't do in Australia, but I hope it will heal the pain," said the 38-year-old. (No)

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