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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Aye Aye My Eye

Warning: Graphic content unsuitable for the young and the faint-hearted

I'm suffering from a corneal infection with 3 ulcers in my left eye.

Before I experienced this myself, I never ever knew that ulcers could grow in the eye. You know how painful ulcers in the mouth are? Try having them in the eye. Nope, don't ever try coz I pray that nobody, nobody should ever get ulcers for corneal infection. Having ulcers in the eye is one of the most excruciating pain ever. Fortunately the pain is almost gone by the time I'm crafting this post.

The Beginning

It started on the wee hours of Sunday morning. After a CNY gathering with friends, I removed my coloured contacts and felt pain and discomfort in my left eye each time I blinked. The pain felt as if I had a hole in my eye. After cleansing my face and showering, I noticed lots of broken capillaries. The pain got more intense and I had no choice but to close my eyes and drift off to sleep.

Bimbotic thoughts aloud: I hate my freckles/ sun spots whatever you call them.


The next day, the "hole-y" pain continued. It was a Sunday and still a CNY weekend so we had guests over at our place. Buddy Cyn and Godson Jase also dropped by to visit and I could still managed a goofy smile through the pain and discomfort.


The Intense Pain Started

After a day of rest away from contact lens, I thought that the pain and discomfort would slowly dissipate. I was in for a shock the next day. I woke up with excruciating pain and could hardly open my left eye at all. Each time I sat up or stood up, there was immense blood pressure at the eye. It was so intense that I felt like my eye would just burst and spew blood. The pressure on the eye not only caused pain but induced a bad headache and nausea and hence I called in sick.

I tried getting back to sleep but was in so much pain and discomfort that I had to call my hubby from work and asked if he could take me to see some eye specialist. By that time, I could not open my left eye anymore. Apparently the people at his workplace felt my condition was serious when he informed them. After making some arrangements, he came back and sent me to an eye specialist whose number I found off the Internet.

Being cooped up indoors with the blinds drawn, I was not ready for the bright sunlight outside. Even with shades on, the light blinded me and tears flowed down uncontrollably. I felt like a vampire there and then burning under the scorching sun.

At the Eye Specialist

Over at the clinic, the doctor had difficulty trying to open my eye for all the various tests and he had to support my lid while doing the tests. He tested my vision, dilated my eye, dripped some substance into my eye every now and then and after sitting at 3 machines for tests, he told me that I was suffering from a corneal infection with ulcers. There was also lots of white blood cells floating about in the aqueous which made it cloudy. Fortunately my vision wasn't affected by the cloudiness and ulcers as the latter weren't over my pupil.

Kh and I were pretty amused coz we had never heard of ulcers in the eye before. When the doctor pointed out the 3 white spots as ulcers, Kh was totally grossed out. We thought that we could see the ulcers only from the doctor's camera and when he told us that they could be seen with the naked eye, we were quite excited to see the ulcers.

The top picture shows the ulcers (the 3 white spots) as seen with the naked eye and the bottom picture shows the spots taken with the special camera. Ignore the Sadako-looking eye at the botton left picture. The doctor told me to look down when he took that shot.


How Corneal Infection Occur

The main reason why corneal infections occur would be because of bacteria entering the microscopic scratches on our cornea(from daily wear and tear especially from the constant removing of soft contact lens from the eye) and causing an infection. Ulcers may not necessarily follow but if they do, there would be great pain on top of the bloodshot condition. The doctor speculated that in my case, it could have been due to frequent contact lens wear.

As I was raining lots of questions on the doctor, I suddenly realised that I could open my eye without much difficulty. It was then that he told me he dripped anesthetic into my eye. I was almost thrilled and asked if I could buy that wonderful solution. Of course he said no.

Lessons to Take Home from this Experience

Here comes a few lessons to take home from my experience. I hope that this would serve as a warning to all contact lens users out there. But before that, here are some facts to chew on first.

1. I'm one who never gets eye infection till this experience.
2. I've been wearing monthly disposable soft contact lens for more than 10 years, not every day but most of the time.
3. I've only worn 3 different brands of monthly disposable contact lens -- Geo, Freshkon, Freshlook ColorBlends.
4. I could wear my contact lens for a lot more than 12 hours without feeling discomfort.
5. I fell asleep on a few occasions with my contact lens on without any serious problem.
6. I'm playing with my eye but I sometimes wear my contact lens for more than a month without any serious problem. (Both for clear and coloured)
7. For monthly disposable coloured lenses, I wear them for a lot more than a month. I have the mentality that since I only wear them on occasions, I tend to focus more on the few  number of times I wear them as oppose to wearing them only once or twice and then throwing them away after a month. I'm sure there are many of you out there with the same mentality as me so please, don't do that! Our eyes are a lot more important than thinking about the number of times a lens is worn.

From the above, you could see how many times I ill-treated my eyes without suffering any major problem at all. All these made me more daring.

My good friend Gera who studied optometry often shakes her head when she knows of my practices and got tired of telling me off. I am finally getting my just desserts and this has made me a little more kiasu.

I know that with many gals and even guys love to wear coloured lenses, circle lenses or what you call those  big eye contacts. Speaking of which, I also wore those daily disposable enlarging black lens on 2 occasions. Those were the worst on me. My eyes turned red without pain both times I used them.

Other than all the risks of having the colour dye going into the eyes for those cheap imitations and all the other risk factors involved  wearing coloured contacts on a daily basis in the long run would affect vision. Even with all this knowledge, vain people like us still continue to wear lenses and some of us do not even clean our lenses and cases thoroughly.

I have been going to work with glasses and no make up at all the past week. I would rather play safe than to look pretty. Beside that, I will continue to wear my glasses for quite a while even after my eye has healed. It is good to give my eye a break. I wouldn't want to be causing scratches on my eye surface by constantly pinching the lens out. The reason why I do not like wearing glasses is coz they would give me double vision due to my huge difference in degree. Contact lens gave me no such problem at all.

I had better stop all my 7 bad habits of eye care (or the lack of) before something more serious than corneal infection with ulcers happen. BTW if corneal infection is not treated, one could go blind. So please do not play play with your eyes. It is better to look plain than to go blind.

PS: Thank you dear hubby for being my eyes that day. No thank you for saying my intellect seemed to have gone down together with my blindness and for saying that you wished the anesthetic wore off soon coz I was annoying by talking too much when I was not in pain.   


  1. omg, it looks horrible >__< i find ulcers already unbearable in the mouth, but in the eye O__O must be such a pain to you... poor u... hope u are doing well by now (guess you are since u could type out this blog haha)!

    i've been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for more than 6 years now... i once had conjunctivitis, and it was already such a terrific experience == it hurt, i couldn't open my eye properly and i was non-stop tearing...

    we should really take more care about the hygiene of contact lenses. the health of our eyes is soooo important, totally can't imagine to not being able to see this beautiful world >___<

  2. Oh my gosh! This sounds really really scary...I'm probably victim to a few of these bad habits with lenses too...
    Thank you for posting this. It made me much more aware of how badly I'm treating my eyes too!
    Heal soon!!!

  3. That looks so not good, I really hope your eye get better, I would find it irritating. Do keep well and do the best you can till it gets better. We really mustn't play with our eyes. You look sweet with glasses. BIG hugs xx

  4. OMG JO!!! I never knew you could get ulcers on your eye. Scary. {*ARGH!} It's just not the year for us contact wearers. I mean your situation is far worse than mine but I'm actually suffering from cornea abrasions... My damn eye has been pink every other week since the first week of February. {*AHHH!!} It gets pink. I wear glasses. It clears up. I try contacts. Gets pink again. And repeat. {*UGH!!!}

    I hope you recover soon. Have you thought about getting LASIK? [If I'm eligible I'm definitely getting it in 2014. I can't deal with this.] I think it would reduce the chances of getting eye ulcers/ abrasions/ scratches/ etc. We wouldn't have to worry about falling asleep with contacts and all this other stuff. It's so scary that this happened to you. Hopefully it doesn't happen again. I totally agree with you that you should just wear glasses more often to let your eyes rest. I was impatient and wore my contacts today [after a week of glasses] and my eye turned pink the moment I took my contacts out. =( {*sigh}

    Anyways... I'm going to rest my eyes now. You should try not to stare at the computer unless you have to. Let your eyes rest.

    <3 S.

  5. OMG!! this is so insane!! i'm so so sorry this happened to you i'm so happy to hear you are feeling loads better!

    i was JUST thinking today if i should get contacts or not.. i hate touching my eyes and i'm a germaphobe so i was always afraid of getting bacteria in my eye UGH! and it happened to you ARGH!!! i've always wanted colored contacts but i've never done them because of the reasons above.. argh.. i think i won't do it now.. i do agree colored contacts can make girls really pretty.. but i mean like all of the american celebrities.. none of them wear colored contacts and they are all still gorgeous haha.. so i think you can look beautiful without them too :p i think even without it you would be gorgeous beacause you have large pretty eyes and really strong cheekbones!! :)

  6. Yikes AND eek!!!

    Happily, you look wonderful in glasses, so no need to risk further problems (once this clears up). I have a thing about my eyes, I could never wear contacts. You've just given me even more reason to avoud them. Besides, I only need my glasses for distance. If I had contacts for that, then I'd need glasses for reading to balance it out. So I'm good with my current situation. :)

  7. I wear contact lenses when, and from time to honestly see this in these ulcers eyes made ​​me feel like I never in my life I will use again. But I know that's a lie because I will use again much more cautious now.

  8. Ouch, that is awful and scary. I used to wear contacts for asa long as i could remember and detested to wearing glasses but switched to being a nerd in the past 3-4 years due to dry eyes issue. I wear contacts probably once or twice a month when i feel fancy. Thanks for sharing this Jo. Hope you are doing well (minus this eye incident).

  9. I hope you're feeling better by the time you read this Jo! >< The photos don't look too gross actually haha I was expecting much worse like blood and gore hahaha but I guess when you actually think about it, it's sorta weird ><

    re: Yes people love their dogs! I can't believe I got a monthly box for my dog either hahaha but it was cheap since I got a good deal through groupon, I [probably wouldn't get it normally as it's quite expensive =(

  10. Thank god your eye feels better. I used to wear contacts for about 15 years. Once I got an infection bad as you but not sure whether they were ulcers. But very painful that I gave up contacts at that very point and went in for lazer treatment. It is such a relief to not wear contacts and bother about it. May be you should look into that option.

  11. Jo, this sounds absolutely dreadful and I'm sorry to hear you had to endure such horrid pain! I'm glad you're better and hope you make a full recovery soon. One's eyes are definitely nothing to play with. I've never worn contact because I'm so freaked out putting about anything in my eyes - even eyedrops. I have some friends who leave their contacts in for days. I will be sure to tell them of your story. Take care Jo!

    Rowena @ rolala loves

  12. Connie,

    It would really a shame if one lose his/her eyesight due to vanity reason and hygiene is definitely a must.



    How are your eyes now? I hope you are feeling better. Are you still able to wear your lenses?



    I think w/o this experience, I would still be continuing some of my habits. Do take care of your eyes.



    It really was irritating. I remember you were wearing glasses recently too! What a coincidence.



    You must really lay off your contact lens for quite a long while. One week isn’t enough. The abrasions are scratches on your cornea surface and they would not heal if you continue putting something on the surface. So lay off your contacts and allow the surface to recover.

    I would not consider LASIK yet. The myopia degree for my poorer eye is 600+ and the better eye is 100+. So my overall vision is 100+ coz I naturally and uncontrollably use my good eye to see. I find it pretty wasted to correct 100+ vision. Furthermore, I have friends who see halos and friends whose degree continued not to remain perfect after LASIK. Lastly, I’m quite vain coz I would dread the fact of not ever being able to wear coloured lenses again even if it is for a day.

    I have to stare at a computer and a laptop screen at work every day. For this period of time, I haven’t been switching on my computer once I get home. However, I do watch some TV and play handphone games. *guilty guilty*



    I think you could still try wearing contact lens and see how your eyes adapt to them. I used to fear putting on and pinching out the lens and even till now my hubby hates to see me removing contact lens. He finds it very disgusting though there is no pain at all. You should at least give it a try! With the correct practice and reputable lenses, there should be no problem. And I suppose you wouldn’t be wearing your lenses on a daily basis. It would be more for occasions. Remember not to buy those cheap coloured ones.

    Oooh... and thanx for your compliment dear. But I think that picture of me with glasses in this post is very misleading. My eyes are actually super small without make up on. They only look big coz I was opening my eyes big for a goofy look in that picture. Haha

  13. Rick,

    Are you one of those who can’t put anything in your eyes too? Coz I know people like this too. And you are just too funny with your needing another pair of glasses to balance it out. It doesn’t work that way actually. Unless you have a mixture of both short-sightedness and far-sightedness.



    Yes. Such stories would always scare people but I guess sometimes it really is very difficult to lay off lenses when we are so used to them. As long as you adopt the correct hygiene practices, you should be fine.



    Oh, I’ve not seen you much in glasses in your blog. Do share with us how you look in glasses too. I don’t think you would look like a nerd unless probably a fashionable nerd. Dry eyes issue is not joke too coz it could become permanent. It is good to give our eyes a break and only wear contacts on occasions.

    I’ve been doing well but so bz. I don’t think I’ve caught up with your blog for quite some time. I’ve not been logging onto my laptop that often and do whatever internet stuff on my phone and hence I haven’t been catching up with blogs unless I read them off my laptop screen.

    I managed to browse through your blog just now and realised how many posts I've missed. I would get back to you on your blog soon.


    suki pooki,

    Oh, haha... Are you a morbid gal like me? Blood and gore and just so morbid. I felt it was fine but when my hubby and some frenz were so grossed out by the ulcers pictures when I sent them over watsapp, it made me wonder if it is too graphic to share them on my blog. Hence, I put up the warning.



    Thanx for your suggestion. I would not consider LASIK yet. The myopia degree for my poorer eye is 600+ and the better eye is 100+. So my overall vision is 100+ coz I naturally and uncontrollably use my good eye to see. I find it pretty wasted to correct 100+ vision. Furthermore, I have friends who see halos and friends whose degree continued not to remain perfect after LASIK. Lastly, I’m quite vain coz I would dread the fact of not ever being able to wear coloured lenses again even if it is for a day.

    I’m so glad that LASIK has saved you lots of inconvenience.



    Ah, you are one of those who can’t put anything in their eyes, I know of frenz like that too. Your friends leave their contacts in their eyes for days? OMG... Are theirs those which can be left in for days coz I heard of such lenses but have personally not seen them here.

  14. Jenny,

    Yes. Please allow your eyes to rest for a longer time. You could be having some scratches on the surface too so avoid putting anything on your cornea for the time being. My eye isn't painful anymore but I would not be wearing lenses for quite a while.


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