A teenager was left blind in one eye after contracting a freak sinus infection while on a cruise to New Zealand.

Australian teen Riley Adams was on a 10-day cruise to New Zealand when he went to bed on January 12 with a headache.

The next morning the 15-year-old woke up with a swollen eye the size of a golf ball.

Riley's father Jason Adams said they began to panic when they saw the size of the lump and realised he couldn't open his eyes.

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Brisbane teenager Riley Adams is now blind in one eye after the sudden and rapid spread of a sinus infection on a cruise to New Zealand. Photo / Go Fund Me
Brisbane teenager Riley Adams is now blind in one eye after the sudden and rapid spread of a sinus infection on a cruise to New Zealand. Photo / Go Fund Me

Rushing Riley to the cruise doctors, he was administered antibiotics for the infection, but the swelling had put critical pressure on his optical nerve.

By the time the cruise reached Dunedin, he underwent emergency surgery but it was impossible to save his eyesight, Seven News reported.

Now, his parents are trying to raise $30,000 online to help pay for ongoing surgeries and treatment.

"He now has to retrain his brain in his 2D perception as he has lost his ability to see in 3D," Riley's Go Fund Me page states.

"Depth perception and spatial awareness also has to be taught again.

"As parents we are just so sad for our beautiful boy at 15 to have lost his sight in one of his eyes - this tragedy is devastating at any age, but at 15 it breaks our hearts."

The swelling had put critical pressure on his optical nerve by the time the cruise reached its destination, making his sight in his left eye impossible to save. Photo / Go Fund Me
The swelling had put critical pressure on his optical nerve by the time the cruise reached its destination, making his sight in his left eye impossible to save. Photo / Go Fund Me

Despite Riley's outcome, his parents praised the Dunedin medical team's treatment for their son.

"The care that we are receiving in this hospital is absolutely amazing - he is their number one priority and for this we are forever grateful to the staff," they told Fairfax.

Riley's father, Jason Adams, said his son was an active and fun young man whose dream of a sporting career had been completely shattered. Photo / Go Fund Me
Riley's father, Jason Adams, said his son was an active and fun young man whose dream of a sporting career had been completely shattered. Photo / Go Fund Me

"We're feeling lots of different emotions, angry and sad, but we're staying positive."

The Brisbane family are now stuck in Dunedin until the infection is gone and Riley can fly without risk.

So far Riley's GoFundMe page has raised close to $15,000 inside three days.