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The horrifying reason you should never wear contact lenses in the shower

Birmingham Mail logo Birmingham Mail 8/09/2017 James Rodger

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc Statistics revealed last year just how bad the West Midlands' eyesight is.

One in six adults don’t bother to attend appointments to have their vision checked.

Incredibly, half of all patients who are seen first time by an optometrist need some sort of vision correction.

But, according to the report, 24 per cent of people don’t go to eye tests because they don’t like the idea of wearing glasses.

While a quarter think wearing glasses will actually make their eyesight worse.

Many will opt for contact lenses, if they are in requirement of some sort of spectacles.

If you've been wearing contact lenses for a while, you might find yourself becoming a bit more relaxed with the rules your eye doctor told you to stick to.

But there's a reason they give you this advice - and you might end up seriously regretting your life choices if you don't follow them.

One of the rules is to take your contact lenses out when you shower or swim, reports the Mirror.

You might think this one is unnecessarily cautious, but flouting it could result in vision loss caused by an infection known as Acanthamoeba Keratitis - basically, a microscopic organism invading the cornea in your eye.

As explained on the Moorfield Eye Hospital NHS website, this infection affects the clear 'window' at the front of the eye and can be incredibly painful.

It's caused by a microscopic organism, called Acanthamoeba, which is common in nature and is usually found in bodies of water (lakes, oceans and rivers) as well as domestic tap water, swimming pools, hot tubs, soil and air.

Around 85% of cases of the infection have been caused by contact lens wear.

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

Taking a five-minute shower after your gym class or jumping in the pool on holiday without taking out your lenses could mean that this organism finds its way into your eye.

Failure to disinfect your lenses properly can increase your risk of contracting the disease, which is still very rare.

And if you think UK water is clean enough that you won't get infected by it, think again.

Moorfields' leaflet on the infection states: "Due to the way that UK domestic water is stored and supplied, incidence of the disease is generally higher in the UK than in other parts of the world."

If you do start to experience blurred vision or are worried about your contact lenses, do consult an eye doctor immediately.

Treatment is usually with anti-septic drops administered every few hours (including through the night) as well as anti-inflammatories and painkillers in particularly bad cases.

Vision loss

© Provided by Trinity Mirror Plc

"In later stages of the disease, scarring on the front of the cornea, resulting from long-term inflammation, is usually the reason for vision loss," the NHS explains.

"In some patients, scarring can be quite extensive and may need further therapy (e.g. a cornea transplant) to rehabilitate vision once the infection is over.

Birmingham just had one of its warmest summers in YEARS

"A degree of permanent vision loss occurs in around a quarter of cases.

"Around 25% of cases of AK seen at Moorfields result in a corneal transplant."

So don't wear contact lenses in the shower, or the bath,or while at a swimming pool and definitely don't wear them swimming in lakes or natural water sources.

More information on Acanthamoeba Keratitis is available on the Moorfields Eye Hospital website .

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