Texas Neighbors Contract Rare Eye Parasite
Two Bedford, Texas neighbors have contracted a rare and harmful eye infection. The infection suspected to be linked to a local swimming pool.
About the Eye Infection
The two infected individuals, Bonnie Reese and Bryan Tilghman, are friends and live near each other in the same apartment complex in Bedford, reports WFAA News.
Doctors told Reese that the infection was likely Acanthamoeba keratitis, an amoeba that usually impacts contact lens users, after what she thought was pink eye would not respond to treatment, such as eye drops.
Neither Reese nor Tilghman use contact lenses. Tilghman says that he contracted the same infection after he and Reese went swimming at a local pool. It is still unclear where the infection originated.
The two are looking into filing formal complaints with the Tarrant County Health Department, said WFAA News. After suffering eye swelling, pressure, and near-blindness, both individuals’ conditions are improving now that they are taking a special medication flown in from California.
What is Acanthamoeba Keratitis?
Acanthamoeba keratitis is prevalent in the environment but rarely causes infections, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA). When infections do occur, the condition can be serious and threaten vision.
Symptoms include a red, painful eye infection that usually does not improve with conventional treatment, foreign body sensation, tearing, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.
Greatest risk factors come from using tap water to clean contact lenses and swimming wearing contact lenses.