A woman loses sight of a parasite in tap water in Antwerp

adminNovember 30, 2018


Contact lenses and tap water must not be mixed well. Petra, who lives in the province of Antwerp, made the painful experience.

She lost an eye because of a parasite that was probably in the water in the shower she took while wearing her lenses, she said on Friday morning at Radio 2 Antwerp (VRT). While taking a shower three years ago after sailing, Petra did not take off the lenses. "It must have been the time it went wrong, water leaked between my eye and my contact lens, it contained a parasite, harmless, unless it reached its eyes."

Petra tried a corneal transplant that failed. For two weeks she has had an artificial eye.

"This is a very rare story," said Professor Carina Koppen, head of the UZA ophthalmology department, on Flemish radio. "The acanthamoeba parasite lives in the sea, ponds and tap water. If you swim or shower, remove the lenses. It should definitely not wash the lens box and even the lenses with tap water," she warns.

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