WASHINGTON — It sounds like an urban legend gone viral, but unfortunately for Taiwanese student Lian Kao, it is very much true.
According to a doctor at Taipei’s Wan Fang Hospital, Kao, 23, recently went blind due to eyeball-eating amoebas. The girl had knowingly left her contact lenses in for six months without cleaning or changing them, allowing for the single-celled organisms to breed and then burrow into her corneas.
“A shortage of oxygen can destroy the surface of the epithelial tissue, creating tiny wounds into which the bacteria can easily infect, spreading to the rest of the eye and providing a perfect breeding ground,” the director of ophthalmology at the hospital, Wu Jian-liang, explained.
“The girl should have thrown the contact lenses away after a month but instead she overused them and has now permanently damaged her corneas.”