Retired engineer, Stephen Souter aged 63 from Braunton Devon has suffered ‘indescribable’ pain and gone blind in one eye due to an eye-eating infection that slowly destroyed his cornea through his contact lens.
He said: "It’s been an absolute nightmare from start to finish, it’s affected everything – my work, my social life."
Mr Souter has been diagnosed with Acanthamoeba Keratitis (AK), an infection caused by a microscopic organism found in water both outdoors and in our homes. About 85 percent of people who wear contact lenses with poor lens hygiene are at risk of being attacked by this micro organism.
He first noticed the problem in January when a redness developed in his eye and he was in so much pain that most times, he had to stay awake all night.
His 61-year-old Wife Tess added: "It has been a neverending, living nightmare, which came totally out of the blue. Now he has no confidence – I drive us everywhere. We are happy with each other’s company but it’s turned our life upside down."
Around 1 in 50,000 contact lens wearers in the UK are affected each year by AK but only a minority of them lose their sight.
Although, all hope is not lost as he can get a cornea transplant, but he still has to face another year of partial sight and treatment with the eyedrops to kill off the infection.