A woman’s eye is removed after being infected with a parasite from tap water.
LEICESTERSHIRE, U.K. – A woman had her left eye removed after being infected with a parasite during a shower.
Marie Mason believes the parasite-infected her when she showered with tap water while wearing her 30-day contact lenses.
“It would have got under the lens then multiplied, so my eye was riddled with it,” Mason said.
Mason was infected with acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare infection that only affects 150 to 200 people in the U.K. annually and is caused by microscopic organisms that infect the cornea. The infection is most common for people who wear contact lenses, but experts say they can infect anyone.
Honorary professor at the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology John Dart says that “very few” lose their eyes, but “about half” will lose a substantial amount of their vision.
Mason noticed something was wrong in 2015.
“I started feeling like I had a foreign body in my eye like a bit of sand or grit which, when you rub, it will normally go away, but it wouldn’t,” she said.
Medical staff told Mason to go to a hospital where doctors diagnosed her with the amoeba. After three cornea transplants, medications, and eye drops, she learned that the treatments were unsuccessful.
“There was just lots of hospital visits, lots of eye drops, lots of operations and procedures, and lots of pain,” Mason said.
According to reports, Mason was told that she would have to have her left eye removed and has used a false eye since the operation.
“I sometimes struggle because my vision on my left side is rubbish; well, it’s not there. It’s quite hard walking down the street when you’ve got people whizzing by you, and it makes you jump a bit because you don’t expect it,” she said.
Common symptoms associated with infection are eye pain, blurred vision, light sensitivity, and the feeling of having something in your eye. If untreated, the infection can cause blindness and severe pain. Doctors say that if you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible.