An ophthalmologist has shared shocking photos to caution his clients about the dangers of leaving their contact lenses in while they sleep.

Dr. Patrick Vollmer, from Vita Eye Clinic in Shelby, North Carolina, took to Facebook this week to post stomach-churning images of a woman who had her cornea eaten away by bacteria after she frequently left her lenses in overnight.


In a post which has now been viewed by more than 30 million people, the woman’s eyes are seen glazed over as they ooze with thick, yellow puss.

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Dr Vollmer explains that she is suffering from a ‘cultured pseudomonas ulcer’ that is ‘the direct result of sleeping in contact lenses.’

He states: ‘Pseudomonas (bacteria) is an important cause of ocular morbidity and its opportunistic characteristics quickly lead to permanent blindness. This will be the 4th case of cultured pseudomonas that I’ve treated in my clinic.

‘The bacteria explosively eats away at the patients cornea in a matter of days leaving a soupy, white necrosis (dead tissue) in its wake.’

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While Dr Vollmer says he was able to start the patient on antibiotic drops and steroids to reduce permanent scarring, he concedes it will be ‘very likely’ that she will suffer some form of permanent vision loss.

‘To be very clear, I don’t ever recommend sleeping in any brand of SOFT contact lenses. The risks outweigh the benefits every time. It takes seconds to remove your contacts but a potential lifetime of irreversible damage if you choose to leave them in’.

He pleads: ‘People need to see these images and remind themselves/family/friends to also be aware of contact lens misuse.’

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