23-year-old Meabh McHugh-Hill has been using lenses since she was 16 years old, and has been suffering from dry eye syndrome.
This should serve as a warning to all users out there.
She didn’t want to wear glasses and has been using lenses as an alternative. She uses her lenses for more than 12 hours a day, despite doctors’ warning that lenses should only be worn 8 hours a day at the most.
It was until August of this year that she realized how dangerous her habit was. She used her lenses for more than 10 hours, making the lenses stick to her eyes as if they were glued. When she pinched her left lenses to remove it, her cornea was ripped off with it!
With her eye forced shut by pain, the young woman rushed to an optician for help and was immediately referred to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
There, doctors found that she had injured her cornea and “scratched an entire layer off her eye”.
Meabh, originally from Belfast but now living in Liverpool, revealed: “I suffered a week of unbearable pain – it was excruciating, like nothing I’ve ever experienced before.”
“My vision is okay now but my eye is still very sensitive.
“I was so, so lucky. I could have lost my sight. I just didn’t realise how dangerous wearing contact lenses could be if your eyes are not moistened.”
What is the dry eye syndrome?
Dry eye syndrome (DES), also known as dry eye disease (DED), keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS), and keratitis sicca, is a multifactorial disease of the tears and the ocular surface that results in discomfort, visual disturbance, and tear film instability with potential damage to the ocular surface.
To treat dry eyes, one can try reducing the duration of contact lens wear, getting less exposure to air conditioning, getting sufficient rest, and eating a balanced diet.