Actress and reality star Tori Spelling is wearing an eye patch as she recovers from an eye ulcer that nearly blinded her after sleeping with her contacts in for a week.
Ms Spelling was using a daily disposable lens, but said she would rarely take them out. She said on her podcast, ‘90210MG’ that she would leave them in for up to 20 days at a time.
But this month a slit appeared over part of her left eye that she described as ‘huge’ and said ‘hurts so bad’.
She is now receiving treatment and has covered her affected eye with a patch while it heals — expected to take about a week. It is not believed that she will suffer any long-term damage to her sight. Her doctors said she was ‘lucky to get away with it’.
Experts warn eye ulcers can cause permanent vision loss if not treated quickly. A recent case of a 21-year-old from Florida went partially blind in one of his eyes after sleeping in his daily contact lenses made headlines recently.
Tori Spelling, 49, (left) said she had suffered an eye ulcer. She appeared in Beverly Hills wearing an eye patch. She was using daily disposable contact lenses but admitted to sleeping in them for up to 20 days at a time
Ms Spelling, a mother of five, shared pictures of herself with the eyepatch online. She will need to wear it for a week to help her eye recover
‘It’s my fault. I did this to myself,’ she told her co-host and fellow star of the hit 90s show, Jennie Garth.
‘I have contacts, but I wear daily ones and at the end of the day kids… whatever… I can make all the excuses I want… I don’t take them out. I sleep in them and it is not healthy. You’re not supposed to sleep in them.’
Asked how long she would leave them in, she said: ‘Oh gosh, I have been known to go maybe 20 days. I know, I know, it is shaming.’
She added: ‘Yes, I got lucky this time. I’m not going to take it for granted.’
Her biggest fear for losing her eye sight is no longer being able to perform her duties as a mother.
‘Forget work, but to mom with one eye, not okay,’ Ms Spelling continued.
‘Because moms have to literally hear and see everything happening at one time and I cannot. A child has to take me around, literally. I have a designated seeing-eye child. No, I can’t drive.’
The former 90210 star has five children, ranging from ages five to 15.
Ms Spelling said the incident has not scared her off wearing contact lenses but she will now switch to using 30-day disposables.
This is a type of contact lens that can be worn safely for a month, rather than the dailies which must be removed every night.
But, these lenses can get dirty more easily than the shorter-term products, and come with a higher risk of infection.
She did not reveal the brand of contact lens that she uses.
Doctors regularly warn people not to wear daily disposable lenses at night, saying they put the eye at risk of potentially sight-threatening infections.
The lenses can tear inside the eye or scratch the eyeball, raising the risk of infections.
It may also irritate the surface of the eye or trap bacteria, viruses or fungi against the surface of the eye, which can lead to the development of an infection and eye sore.
An eye ulcer is an open sore on the surface of the eye that can be caused by an infection or an injury.
It also includes corneal ulcers, a sore that emerges on the cornea which is the clear dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye. Medics at Cleveland Clinic say these can rob people of their sight.
She said that the ulcer was ‘huge’ and ‘hurts so bad’ at the time. It is not believed that she will suffer any long-term vision loss from it
Doctors treat them using eyedrops containing antibiotics, antifungals and antivirals depending on what is causing the infection.
Some patients may also wear an eye patch, which can help to speed the healing process by reducing blinking and irritation to the injured surface.
To prevent eye sores, doctors say it is important to follow proper cleaning or disinfecting procedures to replace lenses as advised.
About 30,000 to 75,000 eye ulcers are diagnosed in the United States every year, with estimates suggesting up to 40 percent may be linked to contact lenses.
WHY SHOULDN’T YOU SWIM OR SHOWER WHILE WEARING CONTACT LENSES?
Swimming or showering while wearing contact lenses puts a person at risk of blindness.
Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), an amoeba found in water around the world, can infect the cornea – the ‘clear window’ at the front of the eye.
The burrowing amoeba can penetrate through the eyeball, causing total vision loss within just a matter of weeks.
An analysis of all incidents recorded in the past 18 years showed that 86 per cent of patients had swam with their lenses in, according to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Contact lenses can create small abrasions in the eye, which make it easier for the amoeba to attach when the eye comes into contact with water.
As well as the risk of swimming, the scientists also highlighted the risk of rinsing lenses with tap water.
Acanthamoeba, which feed on bacteria, can be present in all forms of water, including lakes, oceans, rivers, swimming pools, hot tubs and even showers.
It can also be found in tap water and soil.
Although AK are generally harmless to humans, cornea infections can be extremely painful.
Treatment usually involves antiseptic drops that kill the amoeba, which may need to be taken every hour for the first few days, even while sleeping.
Source: Moorfields Eye Hospital