A Brit who lost his eye after a mysterious infection on a Thai holiday has said “everything is half as good as it used to be”.
Raymond Kay’s dream trip abroad turned into a nightmare after a grisly infection left him in agony, and eventually being raced to hospital.
The 68-year-old from Atherton was sunning it up in the exotic city of Pattaya when he felt a strange sensation in his left eye.
Raymond thought it was likely just his contact lens, so removed it and gave it a clean, Manchester Evening News reported.
But the peculiar feeling didn’t go away and within days the dad-of-four was in “excruciating” pain – forcing him to go to a Thai clinic for eye drops.
But the treatment didn’t alleviate his pain so the retired plumber decided to return back to the UK.
He visited his local Specsavers where staff took one look at him and told him to go straight to hospital where he was subject to eye tests, swabs, medications and more
They determined Raymond had developed a fungal infection and needed a cornea transplant. Follow Pattaya One News on Twitter for the latest stories.
The dad had surgery on New Year’s Eve but despite the best efforts of medics, just months later the new cornea came loose.
Doctors were forced to take the life-changing decision to remove Raymond’s eye.
Raymond said: “I now have a fake eye. Everything is half as good as what it used to be but you get used to it.
“It’s hard at first because you lose your peripheral vision. After the surgery, I started to lose vision in my good eye too.
“I had to get a cataract removed. Now I have to have laser because the scar tissue behind the lens is starting to fog over. It’s a constant worry for me.”
While fungal eye infections are rare, they can be very serious.
The most common way for someone to develop a fungal eye infection is the result of an eye injury, particularly if the injury was caused by plant material such as a stick or a thorn.
Raymond has no idea how the fungal infection in his eye started, but he believes his 30-day contact lenses, which he began wearing in 2018, may have worsened the symptoms.
He said: “It was excruciating pain, it was 24/7. The eye looked like it had a white mark in the centre.”
Fungal keratitis can occur with contact lens wear but mostly occurs in people who sustain eye injuries from agricultural or gardening accidents, ocular surface disease and those with immunosuppression.
This infection is one of the severest forms of corneal infection that can occur in contact lens wear.
To avoid infections, the NHS advises contact lens wearers to have regular check-ups with their optician, always wash and dry hands prior to handling lenses, check lenses are not inside out and apply lenses before putting on makeup.
It’s advised to never use tap water to clean lenses, sleep in them or wear them while swimming or in the shower.