Mike Krumholz lost his vision to a rare flesh-eating parasite after leaving his contact lenses in while he slept. The 21-year-old, from Florida, US, decided to have a quick 40-minute nap after a busy day at his part-time job looking after children
In his seven years of wearing contact lenses, Mike was no stranger to getting the odd eye infection or ‘pink eye’ if he forgot to take them out.
But he never thought he would be diagnosed with acanthamoeba keratitis – a rare flesh eating parasite that is feeding away at his right eye.
Mike told Dailystar:
I could not explain one pain like this in my life. The pain is more from the back of my eye, all the way up [from the back of my head] and goes down [to the front]. It’s like a constant shock, it’s a constant pain.
I’m pretty proud of my pain tolerance but I have been screaming in pain. The first two weeks I was diagnosed with this, there is no pain like it at all. I wish that I was exaggerating.
Mike received correct diagnosis, he underwent photodynamic therapy (which is also used with cancer patients) with conjunctival flap surgery where surgeons take the ‘white’ of Mike’s eye and put it over his pupil to give it a chance to fight the parasite.
However, the university student currently has no vision in his right eye except for apart from “black and grey flashing” to which he compared it to the static of a TV.
And due to parasite eating away so much of his eye, the future of Mike’s vision is not a bright one.
Mike is now busy raising awareness on social media about how dangerous it can be to leave contact lenses in while you sleep – or even shower with them in. He said:
There’s a lot of people that wear contacts right now who have said ‘hey I’ve just slept in my contacts, should I go to the doctor?’ I used to sleep in my contacts with no issues but I’m trying to get the word out there that is issues with it.
It’s not ok now.