Whether you wear glasses or contacts, you’ve probably developed your own process for the treatment of your eyes.
While we hope you’ll listen to your doctor about the best practices, we know plenty of people decide to do their own thing. Today anchor Craig Melvin recently revealed a huge issue he had with contacts, and it’s a good reminder of why it’s so important to follow the doctor’s orders.
Craig explained that as a wearer of contacts, he’s always heard that sleeping in them is not a good idea. That said, he’s done his fair share of sleeping in contacts and never had a problem… until now.
After a few days of irritation and dryness unlike anything he’d previously experienced, he paid a visit to his ophthalmologist. What he thought was just a rough case of seasonal allergies was something far more serious. It turned out Craig had developed an open sore on the surface of his eye, known as a corneal ulcer.
The Today show’s newest weekday anchor, Craig Melvin, revealed how a bad habit almost caused major damage to his vision.
Craig wears contacts and revealed that he would routinely sleep in his contacts, a practice that ophthalmologists everywhere warn their patients against repeatedly.
Since it never caused an issue before, Craig didn’t think anything of it until this past August.
He realized that his eyes were getting abnormally red, and at first, he thought it was just a flare-up of allergies.
When the condition wasn’t getting any better, he was urged by colleagues to seek medical attention.
A visit to his doctor revealed that Craig had developed a corneal ulcer as a result of sleeping in his contacts. In fact, his doctor likened it to wearing the same underwear day after day.
The analogy alerted Craig to how unhygienic sleeping in contacts is, and he was ready to make a change, but not before giving his eyes a rest and relying on glasses for a few weeks.
He shared his experience with Today viewers. Fans took to social media to weigh in on their own experiences and the lessons they learned.
Many reported residual eye damage, with a few people even reporting varying degrees of blindness.
If you’re concerned about corneal ulcers, it’s important to know the signs: irritation, redness, tearing or discharge, and obstruction of vision.
It’s also important to practice good hygiene when replacing contacts, whether they are disposable or reusable. Bacterial infections often kick off corneal ulcers.
As for Craig, although his eyes will recover, it was a close call. “The doctor said if it had gone untreated for several weeks it could have been irreparable,” he revealed.
After a few weeks of wearing glasses, he’s back to contact lenses. He’s still commenting on the experience to raise awareness.
Craig realizes he’s lucky to have gotten away with just a few weeks in specs, considering the alternative.