Woman rips off cornea after wearing contacts for 10 hours

Woman rips off cornea after wearing contacts for 10 hours

A young woman from Britain recently ripped off her cornea while removing the contact lenses she had worn for over 10 hours.

In the haste to give her eyes a breather one night, Meabh McHugh-Hill pinched at the lens covering her left eye and soon felt excruciating pain.

The 23-year-old told The Mirror that her eye had become so dry that the contact lens "glued itself to her eyeball."

Even before she started wearing contact lenses at age 16, McHugh-Hill suffered from dry eye syndrome - a condition where the quantity or quality of tears is abnormal.


With her eye forced shut by pain, the young woman rushed to an optician for help and was immediately referred to the Royal Liverpool University Hospital.

There, doctors found that she had injured her cornea and "scratched an entire layer off her eye".

Graphic: The Straits Times

The cornea is a transparent layer on the surface of the eye, according to the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC).

"I suffered a week of unbearable pain," she said.

The incident led to a corneal ulcer on McHugh-Hill's eye and left a permanent scar on her pupil.

Corneal ulcers can cause eye pain, redness, discharge, and blurring of vision. Those who experience these symptoms should immediately remove their contact lenses and seek medical advice.

Illustration: The Straits Times

To treat dry eyes, one can try reducing the duration of contact lens wear, getting less exposure to air conditioning, getting sufficient rest, and eating a balanced diet, SNEC advises.

Optometrists also often warn that contact lenses are medical devices that should be worn with care. Misuse may lead to infection and vision loss.


Also read: Amoebas devour girl's cornea after contact lenses stay in for 6 months

Also read: Girl, 11, cries blood-stained tears from contact lens stuck in eyelid for two years

Also read: 10 things every contact lens user should know


This website is best viewed using the latest versions of web browsers.