Ophthalmologists are urging patients to schedule regular checkups after a team of surgeons discovered 27 mislaid contact lenses lodged in a woman’s eye.
The 67-year-old Brit was due to undergo cataract surgery when specialists found a “bluish foreign body” while administering local anaesthetic.
The mass consisted of 17 lenses that had become stuck together, while a further 10 were located upon further examination at Solihull Hospital in the West Midlands.
“None of us have ever seen this before,” Specialist trainee ophthalmologist, Rupal Morjaria, told Optometry Today.
“We were really surprised that the patient didn’t notice it because it would cause quite a lot of irritation while it was sitting there.”
According to the publication, the woman was completely unaware the lenses had accumulated, and had attributed the discomfort she’d been feeling to age-related dryness.
“She was quite shocked,” Morjaria said. “When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses, she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable.”
It’s unknown how long the lenses had been stuck there, but according to Optometry Today, the patient had been using disposable monthly contacts for 35 years.
The unusual case was recently documented in The BMJ (formerly known as The British Medical Journal) in the hope that it may serve as a warning to both patients and clinicians that such an event could occur with limited symptoms.
It also illustrates the need for contact lens wearers to have routine eye examinations, something the woman in this case had reportedly failed to do.
“In this day and age, when it is so easy to purchase contact lenses online, people become lax about having regular check ups,” Morjaria told Optometry Today.
“Contact lenses are used all the time, but if they are not appropriately monitored we see people with serious eye infections that can cause them to lose their sight.”
For more information about caring for you contact lenses, please visit the Cornea and Contact Lens Society of Australia website and consult your optometrist.