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Woman rips off part of her eye after leaving contact lense in for 10 hours

'After a few minutes the pain became unbearable'

Tom Embury-Dennis
Wednesday 02 November 2016 19:04 GMT
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A study suggests 99 per cent of wearers have engaged in “contact lens hygiene risk behaviour” (file pic)
A study suggests 99 per cent of wearers have engaged in “contact lens hygiene risk behaviour” (file pic) (Facebook)

A woman was left in agony after ripping off part of her eyeball while trying to remove a contact lense she had left in too long.

Meabh McHugh-Hill had kept the lenses in for 10 hours, causing them to stick after her eyes began to dry out.

In a panic, the 23-year-old accidentally tore off part of her left eye's cornea – the transparent layer at the front – along with the contact lense, reports The Mirror.

The graduate, who lives in Liverpool, said she had originally settled down for the evening to watch a film with her boyfriend before realising her mistake.

“I ran upstairs to take them out and stupidly, in a rush, I just pinched my eye first like I normally would do to get the contact out.

“After a few minutes the pain became unbearable. And I woke up the next morning not being able to open my left eye at all.

“I tried to look in the mirror but as soon as a tiny bit of daylight came in the room, my eye immediately forced itself closed. It was awful.”

Ms McHugh-Hill went to see a local optician, but was immediately referred to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, according to The Mirror.

At the hospital, she was told not only had she torn part of her eye out, she had also given herself a corneal ulcer.

The former Film Studies student was bed-bound in a darkened bedroom for the next five days, as light was “unbearable”.

Ms McHugh-Hill was forced to take antibiotics every hour for a week and now has a permanent scar on her pupil.

She has been told she will never be able to wear a contact lense in her left eye again, and the scarring means laser surgery would be useless.

It is estimated that 125 million people on the planet use contact lenses.

While there are many advantages, a study suggests 99 per cent of wearers have engaged in “contact lens hygiene risk behaviour”.

Advice to prevent eye infections according to the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention:

• Wash hands with soap and water and dry them well before touching contact lenses

• Take contacts out before sleeping, showering or swimming

• Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time they remove them

• Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off after each use

• Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months

• Avoid “topping off” solution in lens case (adding fresh solution to old solution)

• Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out

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