The dangers of sleeping with contact lenses on have been highlighted yet again with the story of a man named Groeschen, who contracted a serious bacterial infection as a result of this common mistake.
Groeschen visited the Cincinnati Eye Institute, where he was diagnosed with Pseudomonas, a type of bacteria that can “incubate” below contact lenses. His doctors believe that the infection was caused by his habit of going to bed at night with his contact lenses still on.
Although Groeschen was able to get rid of the bacteria with the help of antibiotics, the damage had already been done. The bacterial infection had caused a corneal ulcer, and the resulting scar tissue had left him completely blind in one eye. Doctors told him that it was like seeing through an opaque piece of glass, and that the scar tissue would make it difficult for him to see even after the infection cleared up.
The only way for Groeschen to regain his sight was through a cornea transplant, a major surgery with a lengthy recovery time of around one year. As the owner of a design-based restorations company, Groeschen was unable to keep up with the work while he recovered.
Interestingly, Groeschen had been under the impression that it was safe to sleep with his contacts in, as the packaging for the lenses indicated as much. However, this advice goes directly against the recommendations of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which issued a warning back in 2013 stating that “overnight wear, regardless of contact lens type, increases the incidence of corneal infection.”
The tragic case of Groeschen serves as a reminder of the serious consequences that can result from failing to follow proper contact lens hygiene guidelines. It is crucial that contact lens wearers follow the instructions provided by their doctors and contact lens manufacturers to avoid the risk of infection and permanent vision loss.
Sleeping with contact lenses on can be a common mistake, but it can have severe consequences on your eyes. One person who learned this the hard way was Chad Groeschen, who lost his sight in one eye due to a corneal ulcer caused by a bacteria known as Pseudomonas. The reason behind this infection was that he used to sleep with his contact lenses on, and the bacteria incubated below the lenses.
While antibiotics helped him get rid of the bacteria, it was already too late, and he needed a cornea transplant to regain his vision, leading to a one-year recovery time. Unfortunately, this left him unable to keep up with his design-based restorations company.
According to Dr. William Faulkner, who treated Groeschen, it is not safe to wear contacts overnight. The American Academy of Ophthalmology issued a warning in 2013 that highlighted the increased incidence of corneal infection due to overnight wear, regardless of the contact lens type.
Additionally, other risky behavior by people using contact lenses includes storing the lens covers for an extended period beyond what is advised and not changing the solution in the case entirely. This means that the case is not entirely empty before adding new solution, which can lead to bacterial growth.
To avoid any such unfortunate incidents, it is best to switch to daily-wear disposable contact lenses, which are by far the safest option for anyone who wears glasses or contacts.