(CBS) — Researchers are warning about a dangerous parasite found in dust, as well as sea, pool and tap water, that could cause blindness to contact lens users.

The acanthamoeba parasite has the potential to gnaw through the eyeball of an exposed contact lens wearer, which results in blindness, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The Centers for Disease Control refers to the ocular infection as “acanthamoeba keratitis” on its official website.

“[The parasite] is a microscopic, free-living [amoeba], or amoeba … that can cause rare, but severe infections of the eye, skin, and central nervous system,” the site states. “The [amoeba] is found worldwide in the environment in water and soil … [and] can be spread to the eyes through contact lens use, cuts, or skin wounds or by being inhaled into the lungs.”

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