A 67-year-old woman and her doctors were left stunned when a simple cataract surgery took an odd turn after a “bluish foreign mass” was found in her eye.
According to NPR, the strange mass that was discovered in the woman’s eye turned out to be 17 contact lenses lumped up together, trapped inside her eye.
And the woman didn’t even know about them.
That was just the beginning, though, as 10 more individual lenses were also crammed into her eye, making it a total of 27 contact lenses that needed to be pulled out.
Rupal Morjaria, a specialist trainee ophthalmologist, 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.”
The woman had never complained of pain and had assumed her eye irritation was from old age and dry eyes. She had never even noticed that she was missing the large amount of contact lenses.Cjames Fotografia/Flickr
Morjaria told Optometry Today that this was unique:
“None of us have ever seen this before.”The patient was also surprised to find out about what was floating around inside of her eye.
“She was quite shocked.”
Morjaria said finding a single contact does happen, mostly with new users or people that have dexterity problems, but:
“Finding this many lenses stuck in someone’s eye is exceedingly rare.”
The patient’s eye began to feel more comfortable once the lenses were taken out.
This is why you need regular check ups, especially wearing contacts!
The woman skipped seeing an optometrist regularly for appointments but had worn disposable contact lenses for the last 35 years. There was no way to know how long the lenses had been sitting in her eye.
As a result, the cataract surgery was scrapped — doctors wanted to keep the woman safe from getting an infection due to the bacteria from the lenses.
Because the woman had other avenues in which to order her prescription, she didn’t visit her optometrist regularly. Morjaria explained that this is the downside of being able to purchase lenses online:
“In this day and age, when it is so easy to purchase contact lenses online, people become lax about having regular checkups.”
Morjaria stressed the importance of taking care of your eyes properly and attending appointments with an ophthalmologist regularly:
“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.”
Morjaria said it could become the difference between being able to see and risking your vision.