Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is a common infection. It can be caused by the same virus as the cold virus, bacteria, or allergies. Regardless of how you get it, the symptoms are the same: an inflammation of the membranes in the eyes. Most cases are mild and treatable with a few days rest, yet thousands a year are so severe that they could cause blindness.
Warning: Some of the images below are slightly graphic.
In 2006, Clark, 62, woke up to itchy, swelling eyes and assumed it was just a pedestrian form of pink eye. She took it easy for a couple days, but the symptoms only worsened after a week.
Her doctor said she had a slightly stronger strain of conjunctivitis, but it was nothing to worry about. He prescribed her steroids to calm the effects. They seemed to work, until the other eye started turning red.
Loss of Vision.
Then the symptoms went into overdrive. Clark gained a hefty fever and white bubbles started forming on her corneas, blurring her vision. Her doctors noticed scars started to form and said there was a chance she would go blind.
One doctor suggested a fairly experimental process of using lasers to zap away the scar tissue. Clark saw this as her only choice, so she agreed. A clamp was put around her eyelids to stop her from blinking, and she could see the whole time. A ray of bright colors hit her eye and she could smell burning flesh.
Within a few weeks after the surgery, Clark was able to see the hair on her arms and individual threads on the carpet. She was even able to use the computer and read without having to use television, something she was not able to do for years. To this day, her vision is still intact and better than before.
Speaking as someone slowly coming out of pink eye isolation, this really freaked me out. Luckily, modern medicine has our backs, but still. I’m gonna go wash my eyes now.