An amateur footballer has been left partially blind on the grounds that a parasite burrowed into his right eye after he showered with contact lenses in.
Scratch Humphreys, 29, of Shrewsbury, Shropshire, had no clue it was hazardous to wear a contact lens in the shower and would regularly do so. In January 2018, he saw an excruciating scratch on his eye which he made do with eye drops while opticians tested for an infection.
The outcomes returned positive for Acanthamoeba keratitis, an infection from a small organism found in water that is able to get into the eye through a small cut – often caused by contact lenses.
In March 2018, Mr Humphreys, a local newspaper writer and sports player, all of a sudden lost his vision while driving his vehicle, and has since never recovered. The 18-month ordeal has had a huge impact on Mr Humphreys’ mental health, as he struggled to come to terms with the limitations of his damaged eye – which was close to needing complete removal. He has had two operations on his eye, one of which was to clear the infection, and is now waiting for a corneal transplant.
Mr Humphreys said: I got contacts as I didn’t like how I looked in glasses and it nearly cost me my right eye. 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. After getting the infection, I went from hitting the gym every other day and playing football three times a week, to being housebound for six months and losing the will to live.’
Two months later, he could not see at all with his right eye. Humphreys spent sleepless nights and was depressed with the condition. “The pain in my eye was too much and the only time I would leave was to visit the hospital. I felt at my absolute lowest and the one thing that would cheer me up – playing football – was no longer an option,” he said in the report.
Although he underwent a corneal operation, he remained blind. He had to undergo a second operation in Christmas 2018 which was a success. But he yet has to undergo a corneal transplant which will replace his damaged cornea. Nick Humphreys has sworn never to use contact lenses again.