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Eye Doctor Posts Gross Photos to Warn Against Sleeping in Contact Lenses

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An optometrist has posted a set of disturbing photos on Facebook to show what can happen when you sleep in your contact lenses.

Dr. Patrick Vollmer of Vita Eye Clinic in Shelby, NC, wrote in an April 28 post that he hears this sentence daily: “I sleep in my contacts all the time and I’ve never had a problem.”

So he uploaded 10 photos of a case that was referred from a local urgent care center. They showed a pseudomonas ulcer that he said was “the direct result of sleeping in contact lenses.”

As of May 7, the post had generated 51,000 reactions and 318,000 shares, along with 239,000 comments.

Vollmer continued: “Pseudomonas (bacteria) is an important cause of ocular morbidity and its opportunistic characteristics quickly lead to permanent blindness.”

He further explained that the bacteria “explosively eats away at the patients cornea in a matter of days leaving a soupy, white necrosis (dead tissue) in its wake.”

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“I was able to start this patient on fortified antibiotic drops around the clock and recently steroids to reduce permanent scarring,” he wrote. “While this patient’s eye continues to drastically improve from baseline, she will very likely exhibit some form of residual vision loss even after treatment.”

The eye appears green because of fluorescein dye that was put into it.

“The dye pools in areas of corneal compromise, in this case the ulcer bed,” Vollmer said.

The optometrist said he doesn’t recommend sleeping in any brand of soft contact lenses.

Since launching in 2014, INVISION has won 23 international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact INVISION's editors at [email protected].

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