The parasite is called Acanthamoeba. It’s a single-celled organism that typically makes its way into the human eye through water and eats the cornea. This causes an infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis that can lead to blindness if left untreated.
Although anyone can develop the infection, it’s most common in people who wear contact lenses, according to the centres for Disease Control and Prevention. This happens when lenses are not properly cleaned (i.e rinsed with tap water) or wearing lenses while showering or swimming.
Apparently the only way to kill the tiny animals is with a cocktail of powerful eye drops. But it’s a “long, painful, and not completely effective treatment,” says Fiona Macrae of The Daily Mail.
In extreme cases, it might even require a cornea transplant.
Bottom line: Don’t cut corners when cleaning your contact lenses.
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