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A trainee air stewardess had to undergo a cornea transplant after contracting a rare eye infection - caused by swimming with her contact lenses in.
Natalie Rance, from Bristol, wore her lenses while taking part in a training exercise to simulate a plane ditching in a swimming pool.
Fears - Keratitis - AK - Infection - Amoeba
And the 24-year-old fears this is when she picked up acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), an infection triggered by an amoeba found in water.
Miss Rance was at risk of being permanently robbed of her sight in one eye, as the aggressive amoeba can penetrate through the eyeball.
Order - Vision - Transplant - Cornea - Outer
In order to keep her vision, she underwent a full-thickness transplant of her cornea - the outer layer of her eyeball.
Miss Rance also had to have the natural crystalline lens removed from her right eye, and now needs an artificial iris inserted in order to see clearly.
'I - Infection - Job - Crew - Plane
She said: 'I believe I contracted the infection when I was training for a new job to become cabin crew, simulating a plane ditching in a swimming pool whilst wearing my lenses.
'It wasn't until I began to experience the rapid effects of the symptoms that I learnt about the risks associated with wearing my lenses in water.'
Contact - Age - Years - Care - Eyes
She added: 'I've worn contact lenses from the age of 11 years, and have taken good care of my eyes.
'I was advised to clean them in solution after wearing them swimming and vaguely remember being told about something that lived in water.
Condition - Water - Climates - Something - Water
'However, I was naive to presume this was a condition caused by dirty water or tropical climates, not something that could be found in tap water or swimming pools which we all presume are safe.'
AK can be found in all water, including open water, domestic tap water and some swimming pools.
Number - Infections - Increase - Years
And the number of acanthamoeba infections has seen a steady increase over the last four years...
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