If you're a regular contact lens wearer, then you're probably familiar with the pain that comes with having even the tiniest hair on one of your contact lenses, or falling asleep in them. So it probably comes as a shock that doctors at England’s Solihull Hospital found 27 contact lenses in a 67-year-old patient’s eye when she was being prepped for surgery, and she didn't even realize they were there.
A write-up in the British Medical Journal by Rupal Morjaria, Richard Crombie, and Amit Patel, claims that the three doctors found the lenses clumped in a "blueish mass bound together by mucus."
“She was quite shocked,” Morjaria told Optometry Today. “When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable.”
The operating team, which included an ophthalmologist with more than 20 years of experience, were startled by the discovery. Morjaria explained that 17 of the contact lenses were found crumpled together, and that another 10 individual contact lenses were discovered following further examination.
The patient's cataract surgery was delayed following the discovery, because of risk of inflammation.
The woman said she had been wearing contact lenses for 35 years, but had not attended appointments with her optician, hence the buildup. She believed that the discomfort caused by the contact lenses was due to old age.
Morjaria explained that the team decided to publish the case because in an online age, many people buy contact lenses without regularly seeing a professional.
“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.”
That had to be painful.