This medical video shows the new way that will detect eye infections.
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Jennifer Mathews: Lori McRae used to live in darkness. Lori McRae: We put black plastic over all the windows, and basically tried to shut out all light in the house. Jennifer Mathews: She was in extreme pain and losing sight in one eye. She went to six different doctors before getting the correct diagnosis, a parasite called Acanthamoeba. William Mathers: It's extremely common. There's amoeba everywhere. It's in our drinking water. It's all in the soil, and in all water. Jennifer Mathews: Lori doesn't know how she got the infection. The amoeba could have been in the water when she washed her hands before putting in her contacts. Whatever the cause, she was lucky to find doctor Mathers. He uses a special microscope to look for the infection. William Mathers: We can actually see the organisms in the eye, living in the eye without hurting the person at all. Jennifer Mathews: The more common way to diagnose the infection is to culture the amoeba. Many doctors don't go to the trouble because the symptoms are similar to other eye infections. Lori was treated for pink eye and herpes first. She was finally given the right medications, but it was too late for them to work. She needed a cornea transplant to restore her sight. She says she hopes the new microscope will prevent others from having to go through what she has. Lori McRae: I'm very lucky to have come from that point to be where I am. Jennifer Mathews: Even if she could, Lori says she'll never go back to contacts. This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.