I was blinded by my contact lens

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New Citizenship Project

When Irenie Ekkeshis’s eye started to itch she assumed it would soon settle down. It didn’t. Before long, she found herself in excruciating pain and lost her sight in that eye. And the cause may have been nothing more than handling her contact lenses with wet fingers.

One Saturday morning in January 2011, Irenie Ekkeshis woke up to find her right eye was streaming with tears. So she went to the chemist’s and picked up some eye drops.

“I thought I had a little infection that would clear up by Monday. But by that evening I couldn’t bear to go in my kitchen because I found the fluorescent lights too bright. It was painful.”

Ekkeshis went straight to Moorfield’s Eye Hospital where doctors gave her a corneal scrape – a procedure that involves taking cells from the surface of the eyeball.

“It was as horrible as it sounds – you see the needle heading towards your eye. It was excruciatingly painful, even though they use numbing eye drops,” she says.

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