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Women Lost 27 Contact Lenses Over The Years - Surgeon Found Them In Her Eye

An elderly woman in the United Kingdom was having trouble with her eyes and went to the eye doctors. A specialist determined that the woman needed cataract surgery, and the surgery was scheduled. During the surgery, they figured out the source of the problem: there were 27 contact lenses in the woman's eye.

The unnamed woman had not been experiencing any pain, but she complained that her vision was getting poor and that her eyes were always dry. The doctor found the 67-year-old had cataracts as well, and proceeded with a surgery. As she was being prepped for the surgery at England’s Solihull Hospital, the doctors noticed a strange mass in one eye.

Upon closer inspection, the 'blueish mass' turned out to be 17 contact lenses bound 'bound together by mucus' hiding in her eye.

“She was quite shocked,” Rupal Morjaria, a specialist trainee ophthalmologist who found them.

She wasn’t the only one. The anesthesiologist and doctors were mystified at first, and then completely stunned by the bizarre finding.

Another ten lenses bound together were found in the woman's other eye, tucked deeply underneath the eyelid. As it turns out, for some 35 years, the woman wore monthly disposable contact lenses. She hardly ever visited the eye doctor over those years, and apparently had never bothered to look too hard when she couldn't find her lenses.

When the doctors were about to perform the cataract surgery, they noticed the unusual hidden object while they tried to administer anesthesia injections.

“She had harbored these contact lenses in her eye for an unknown length of time,” Morjaria said. “If (contact lenses) are not appropriately monitored we see people with serious eye infections that can cause them to lose their sight.”

Morjaria wrote up the unusual case for the British Medical Journal. “None of us have ever seen this before,” the doctor explained. The medical team was baffled that anyone could lose so many lenses in their eyes without knowing it, and without suffering from severe and dangerous symptoms.

“When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable,” the doctor added.

Regular eye exams, especially for those wearing contact lenses, are essential. “In this day and age, when it is so easy to purchase contact lenses online, people become lax about having regular checkups,” 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.”

“Patients do sometimes present with a contact lens stuck under their upper eyelid, particularly if they are new to contact lens wear, or have problems with dexterity, but finding this many lenses stuck in someone’s eye is exceedingly rare,” said Henry Leonard, Association of Optometrists clinical and regulatory officer. “Most patients would experience significant discomfort and redness, and be at risk of eye infections.”

Source: Washington Post, NY Daily News
Photo: British Medical Journal

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