About a month ago, a man in his eighth decade, a resident of the city of Ashdod, came to the emergency department of the eye department at Asuta Ashdod Public Hospital due to severe pain and severe blurred vision in his left eye.
According to him, the pains started about two weeks before his admission, but in the last few days they became unbearable. During the eye examination, a significant decrease in the vision of the left eye was diagnosed, with redness, swelling of the eyelids, considerable turbidity and corneal edema indicating a severe and progressive inflammatory and infectious process. The clinical picture in the patient’s eye indicated a severe keratitis that could correspond to an Acanthamoeba infection – this is a parasite that is a single-cell production that can lead to a severe infection in the eye up to the point of vision loss.
After it was found that the patient wears contact lenses regularly, the doctors asked to examine the lens cartridge and check if the source of the infection came from there. After tests, it was clarified that indeed the lens cartridge is the source of the infection and apparently was not treated as required for a long time. According to the findings, the patient received a wide-ranging treatment with antibiotics, antifungals alongside treatment aimed at dealing with the acanthamoeba itself.
This is a very unique treatment that needs to be given frequently and over a long period of time, therefore the patient had to be hospitalized since the diagnosis, and he had to be hospitalized for about two weeks, followed by months of home treatment.
Dr. Penny Segev, director of the cornea and lens unit in the hospital’s ophthalmology department: “This is a very serious corneal infection whose treatment is long and difficult, which is characterized by late diagnosis by the medical staff since the onset of symptoms, and usually takes about 2-3 months. In our patient, a few days after his hospitalization, the suspicion was raised and he was started on a massive combined wide-range treatment.
“This is the place to raise awareness about fitting contact lenses in a safe manner while taking care of the hygiene of the contact lenses, the cleaning agent solutions and their cartridge. One should avoid entering water sources with contact lenses, and if there is eye irritation, even mild irritation, do not wear the contact lenses and go immediately to an eye examination , since contact lenses can cause very serious infections that endanger vision and the eye in general and may even end in a corneal transplant in an attempt to save the eye,” she added.