A 67-year-old woman thought that her eye discomfort was due to dry eye and old age. But to her shock and that of eye doctors, it was revealed that 27 contact lenses were found lodged in the patient’s eye.
As related by Optometry Today, the patient was not aware that she had several contact lenses missing at the time she was scheduled to receive cataract surgery. She had originally chalked her discomfort up to dry eye and her advanced age, but as it turned out, 17 contact lenses were found in the affected eye at first.
According to Solihull Hospital (U.K.) specialist trainee ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria, there were another 10 individual lenses later found in the patient’s eye, resulting in a total 27 contact lenses. Morjaria added that this was quite the shock to the operating team, which had one doctor with over two decades of experience in the field.
“None of us have ever seen this before. It was such a large mass. All the 17 contact lenses were stuck together. 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.”
Due to the unexpected discovery of the lenses, the woman’s cataract surgery was postponed, as doctors wanted to avoid the risk of endophthalmitis. Morjaria added that this was necessary in order to avoid the risk of “a lot of” bacteria around her conjunctiva, had she and her colleagues operated on the patient with the 27 contact lenses still stuck in her eye.
It does bear mentioning, however, that the case took place in November 2016, but had only been publicized in recent days, after doctors published their findings in the British Medical Journal earlier this week, some eight months after the discovery. Morjaria noted that this was because medical professionals involved in the woman’s case didn’t believe at first that it was possible for a person to have so many contact lenses lodged in their eye without any reported symptoms.
Prior to her complaints ahead of the planned cataract surgery, the patient did not have any known symptoms associated with the contact lenses. Optometry Today added that the woman had worn monthly disposable contact lenses for the past 35 years, but had not been showing up for optometrist appointments on a regular basis.
Morjaria believes that the main takeaway of this case, where a patient has as many as 27 contact lenses stuck in one eye alone, is that it’s important for people not to be lax about optometrist appointments. Not doing so, after all, could lead to serious eye infections and the possible loss of sight, she added.
[Featured Image by Tatiana Kochkina/Shutterstock]