Home | Breaking News | Man left partially blind after a parasite invaded his eye through a contact lens
Rare illness Acanthamoeba Keratitis can cause sufferers to go blind

Man left partially blind after a parasite invaded his eye through a contact lens

WT24 Desk

A MAN has been left blind in one eye after contracting a rare disease from his contact lenses, The Sun reports.  When Stephen Souter, 63, went to his GP in January with a painful and swollen eye, he never expected his life to change forever. He started feeling the pain after wearing daily contact lenses for three years, but had never experienced any irritation before.

 Doctors initially believed it was a routine infection, so gave Stephen some eye drops to help him onto the road to recovery. Sadly, Stephen continued to be in “indescribable pain”, as his cornea was destroyed by the illness.Medical experts finally diagnosed him with Acanthamoeba Keratitis, a rare disease caused by an infectious organism found in water.

Stephen, from Braunton, Devon, explained: “Apparently you can pick this bug up from any water. There is a two million to one chance, and I was the lucky one.”  People who wear contact lenses are said to be the most at risk, as they make up 85% of sufferers. Even though doctors identified the cause of his discomfort, Stephen’s condition worsened so much by the end of the summer that he lost the sense of sight in his left eye.

It has had devastating impacts, with Stephen’s wife Tess, 61, claiming that it has severely affected his confidence and has “turned (their) life upside down”. Stephen said: “I can drive but only in the night and I don’t drive long distances – my wife drives me. I only drive round the village.” “I can work but it has an influence on my work and what I do. Overall, it’s had a massive effect on my life, I’m just hoping to see the end of it.”

The rare illness affects just 1 in 50,000 contact lens wearers in the UK every year, and only a small minority of victims lose their sight.

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