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Eye Doctor Shares Graphic Images To Warn Against Sleeping In Contact Lenses

SHELBY, N.C. (CBS Local) -- An eye doctor is sharing graphic images of a patient's eye to raise awareness of the risks of sleeping with contact lenses.

Dr. Patrick Vollmer, an ophthalmologist from Vita Eye Clinic in Shelby, North Carolina, posted shocking photos of a patient's cornea that was eaten away by bacteria after she slept in contact lenses. (WARNING: Graphic images below)

"Pseudomonas (bacteria) is an important cause of ocular morbidity and its opportunistic characteristics quickly lead to permanent blindness," Vollmer wrote. "This will be the 4th case of cultured pseudomonas that I've treated in my clinic."

He warned that if left untreated, it could have led to blindness.

"The bacteria explosively eats away at the patients cornea in a matter of days leaving a soupy, white necrosis (dead tissue) in its wake," he added. "I was able to start this patient on fortified antibiotic drops around the clock and recently steroids to reduce permanent scarring. While this patient's eye continues to drastically improve from baseline, she will very likely exhibit some form of residual vision loss even after treatment."

**WARNING: Graphic picture below may be disturbing to some.**

Vollmer later clarified in the comments section that "the eye appeared to be green because of the fluorescein dye that was instilled in the eye." The area that accumulated the dye in the pictures was the ulcer bed, which in this case, formed in just 36 hours, he said.

"This patient presented to urgent care on Tuesday afternoon and was noted to have a 'small ulcer,'" the doctor wrote. "I examined her the following day (photos above) with a massive ulcer and vision that was reduced to light perception only."

Vollmer said that it's becoming more common for people to wear contacts overnight and this is associated with to a "dramatic increase of cases with microbial keratitis in the eyes that would not usually develop the condition."

"Yes, this post is a 'scare tactic' to get you to stop sleeping in contacts," Vollmer wrote.

The striking images have been shared more than 287,000 times since it was posted on Facebook April 28.

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