An English woman who has worn contact lenses for the last 35 years of her life recently had 27 contacts discovered in her eye by doctors as she was preparing for a cataract surgery. The unnamed 67-year-old from Solihull, West Midlands, was completely unaware of the lenses’ presence, instead believing the discomfort she was feeling was caused by dry eyes and old age.
Doctors admit never having seen anything quite like it before, as “a bluish foreign body” in the woman’s eyes turned out to be a “hard mass” of 17 lenses stuck together with mucus, with 10 more being discovered upon further examination.
Rupal Maojarial, a specialist trainee ophthalmologist, who dealt with the peculiar case, told Optometry Today: “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.”
“Because she had harbored these contact lenses in her eye for an unknown length of time if we had operated she would have had a lot of bacteria around her conjunctiva,” Morjaria said.
Ms. Morjaria revealed the reason they have decided to publicize the case while protecting the woman’s identity is to raise awareness about the dangers of not having regular checkups and taking an indolent stance about wearing disposable lenses.
“In this day and age, when it is so easy to purchase contact lenses online, people become lax about having regular check ups,” the ophthalmologist said.
“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.”
The report about the case says the patient had poorer vision in her right eye and deep-set eyes, which may have been a factor in the lenses becoming lost.
Upon the removal of the lenses, the woman said her eyes felt “more comfortable” but her operation has been postponed as the risk of developing endophthalmitis, an inflammation of the interior of the eye, has increased.
“She was quite shocked. When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable,” Ms. Morjaria revealed.