The two people who have gone blind from wearing contact lenses in the shower

A week ago we woke up with the sad and surprising news that Nick Humphreys, a young Englishman of 29 years, had gone blind after showering with contact lenses. The event occurred in early 2018 when he suffered an eye scratch that tried to cure with drops while I expected the results for a possible infection. The tests were positive for a corneal ulcer caused by a microorganism known as Acanthamoeba. In March of this year, Humphreys began to lose vision, and today is waiting for a cornea transplant.

The worst is that it is not the only case. It has come to light that another British woman, on this occasion of 41 years, came to the ophthalmologist after experiencing blurred vision, eye pain and sensitivity to light in his left eye, according to the 'New England Journal of Medicine'. He told the doctor that he used to wear disposable lenses and that kept while swimming or showering. After several eye tests, it was shown that his vision was 20/200. The vision of the right eye had not been affected.

The proof

To know what problem afflicts the vision, a test is performed in which a special dye is used that detects corneal damage (the structure that allows light to pass from the outside to the inside of the eye and protects the iris and the lens). Any damage appears in green when doctors illuminate the eye with a blue light, according to National Institutes of Health.

The disease can be contracted by bad practices, such as washing the lenses with tap water or showering with them on

This is how they discovered the defect in the sight of women. In the same way, they can perform another kind of tests with which warn haze in the cornea, as reported by 'Live Science'. Again as in the case of Humphreys, the infection was due to the Acanthamoeba parasite.

The illness

Acanthamoeba is an amoeba that lives on the ground and in the water as well as in the contact lens cases and harnessing wounds in the eyes to cause serious infections. People who wear contact lenses are at risk of getting the infection if they perform some bad practices, for example, if they wash their lenses with tap water or shower or swim with them on, as in the two documented cases.

It produces intense eye pain, redness and photophobia for several weeks. In addition, you may have corneal abscesses that decrease vision, including ulcers. In many cases its diagnosis is complicated but once it is done, the main treatment is based on antibiotic and antiseptic eye drops for months, sometimes they must even be given orally.


In the case of the British citizen, although she was treated with medication, permanently lost eye visibility. That is why a correct education about the use of contact lenses is essential, so that this type of event does not happen in the future.

Some basic hygiene guidelines are wash and dry your hands before handling the contact lenses, apply artificial tears during use, that do not come in contact with water (not even the shower) or exceed the recommended times or sleep with them. And, of course, visits are also recommended periodic to the ophthalmologist.