Acanthamoeba keratitis – Flesh-eating bacteria eats a man’s eye during sleep


Florida: A 21-year-old man from Florida, Michael Krumholz, went partially blind in his left eye after sleeping with his contact lenses on for a 40-minute nap. He woke up to find that his eye was infected with Acanthamoeba keratitis, which is a severe infection that impacts the cornea. As the infection progressed, his vision in the affected eye gradually decreased. Now, Krumholz awaits a cornea implant that could partially restore his vision, but he still experiences excruciating pain and is unable to step out of his house due to sensitivity to light.

If you are someone who occasionally sleeps with their contant lenses on, here’s something that may lead you to drop this habit.

What is acanthamoeba keratitis?

A rare infection called Acanthamoeba keratitis can cause permanent vision loss or complete blindness, and it’s most common in people who wear contact lenses. This infection is caused by an amoeba, a microscopic, single-celled organism that infiltrates the eye and begins to consume the layers of the cornea. Acanthamoeba can be found in a variety of environments, including the air, soil, lakes, and oceans, but the majority of infections are caused by exposure to fresh water sources.

The tiny amoeba infiltrates the eye and begins to consume the layers of the cornea, destroying tissue and moving through the eye. Most infections occur as a result of exposure to freshwater sources like tap water, swimming pools, hot tubs, showers, and sewage systems. Experts have warned that the infection can lead to permanent vision loss and blindness.

Although it is rare, people who wear contact lenses are more likely to develop this infection. However, it can happen to anyone, and it is not contagious.

Acanthamoeba keratitis: Ways to prevent

– Avoid coming into contact with contaminated water, which could include freshwater lakes, rivers, and hot springs.

– Fill your contact lens storage case with a fresh solution every time you open it.

– Never sleep in your contact lenses.

– Avoid showering, swimming, or using a hot tub while wearing contact lenses.

– Don’t use someone else’s contact lenses.

– Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations for replacing your contact lenses regularly.

– Use only disinfecting solution, not saline solution, to rinse and store your contact lenses. Never use tap water.

– Visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist for regular eye exams.


“The primary treatment for acanthamoeba keratitis is a topical antiseptic, which is a substance that fights against microorganisms. This antiseptic is typically applied directly to the surface of the affected eye, and treatment may continue for six months to a year. In some cases, a healthcare provider may need to scrape off a portion of the cornea to allow the medication to penetrate deeper into the eye,” says the expert.

Antibiotics or antifungal medications may also be recommended to help combat the infection. Steroids or pain relief medications may be prescribed to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.


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