Woman had to have eye removed after wearing contact lenses in the shower
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A woman is raising awareness after losing her eye when it became infected from wearing contact lenses in the shower.
Marie Mason, 54, from Leicestershire, developed an infection in her left eye after an organism known as a microscopic amoeba, which is present in tap water, got between her contact lens and cornea.
After struggling with her vision, and feeling as though something was 'stuck', Marie went to the opticians who immediately rushed her to hospital.
She was then told she has a type of bacteria called Acanthamoeba Keratitis living inside of her eye, which can cause permanent visual impairment or blindness.
Marie, who wore 30-day contact lenses, tried numerous medications over a five-year period, but after three cornea transplants and deteriorating vision, her eye had to be removed.
"I had to stop work, because at the time I worked in a kitchen in a school, and I was having to put eye drops in every half an hour so it just wasn't going to work because it's so painful," says Marie.
"I also had to go to the hospital two to three times a week, and sometimes even more. I was also in eye casualty a lot because something would flare up, so with all the times I had to go into hospital, I couldn't have gone to work because it wouldn't have been worth it anyway.
"There was just lots of hospital visits, lots of eye drops, lots of operations and procedures and lots of pain."
Marie is now calling for better warnings on contact lens packs over the risks of contamination.
"I don't want anyone to think that I'm asking people to not wear contact lenses because I'm not asking that at all," she continues.
"Wear contact lenses, that's absolutely fine, but you've just got to be careful – it's the water thing more than anything.
"I would just like the manufacturers to put more warnings on the packaging about water and contact lenses.
"I just don't want anyone else to go through it really."
Almost two years after having her eye removed, Marie is now back working as an admin assistant and volunteers with her church.
"My life is alright now, I haven't gone back to work to the place I left, but I now work for my husband," she adds.
"I'm also heavily involved with the church where I do a lot of voluntary work so my life has changed, but it's a nice change, and it's different.
"The only thing I've not gone back to is driving, I stopped driving quite early on in the journey because I wasn't comfortable with it, and I haven't got the confidence to go back to it, so that's the main thing that's changed for me.
"I do struggle sometimes because my vision on my left side is rubbish, well it's not there. It's quite hard walking down the street when you've got people whizzing by you, and it makes you jump a bit because you don't expect it."
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