2 people blinded after wearing contact lenses while swimming, showering

(New England Journal of Medicine)

NEW YORK – A new report from the New England Journal of Medicine says two people have been blinded after they swam or showered while wearing contact lenses.

The woman, a 41-year-old from the United Kingdom, experienced blurry vision, eye pain and sensitivity to light for months after she went swimming while wearing disposable, soft contact lenses.

The Washington Post reports tests showed the vision in her left eye was 20/200, which amounts to being "legally blind." 

Doctors say the woman tested positive for Acanthamoeba keratitis, a rare infection of the cornea which can damage eyesight and is tied to contact lenses.

The woman was treated to clear the infection, but still suffered from vision loss because of a scar on her cornea. She later underwent a corneal transplant to restore part of her eyesight and relieve pain.

Back in 2018, Nick Humphreys, a 29-year-old from England, was left blind in one eye due to Acanthamoeba keratitis after showering while wearing his contact lenses.

"If I'd have known how dangerous it was to wear contacts in the shower, I would never have got them in the first place," Humphreys told PA Media.