67-Year-Old Woman Had 27 Contact Lenses On Her Eye And Just Found Out

The woman was planning to receive cataract surgery but instead was informed that she had years-worth of contact lenses in her eye.

Credit: British Medical Journal

Prepared to undergo cataract surgery, a 67-year-old woman visited her local ophthalmologist in Solihull Hospital, England, for a required check-up. Such was the first time she had seen an eye doctor and it will definitely not be the last, for upon peeking at her eyes, it was discovered that she had an astonishing 27 contact lenses stuck to the same eyeball.

According to the case which was published in the British Medical Journal, a trainee surgeon was examining one of the lady’s eyes when they noticed a “bluish mass.” Upon further inspection, it was determined that she had 17 lenses stuck together. After recovering from the shock and requesting other doctors to take a look at her eyes, 10 more lenses — held together by mucus — were found.

Specialist trainee ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria told Optometry Today, “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.”

One might expect that the woman was in immense pain from the buildup of contact lenses, but it turns out she thought her symptoms of soreness and dry eye were due to old age. She was planning to get cataracts surgery until it was discovered that some of her symptoms were resulting from contact lenses which had never been removed. Reportedly, the woman had been using monthly contact lenses for 35 years but had never been informed about the proper way to utilize them. The doctors suspect she felt little to no pain from the buildup of lenses because of her deep set eyes.

Credit: British Medical Journal

Because the lenses have been in her eye for an unknown number of years, a bounty of bacteria has built up. As a result, she will not be receiving cataract surgery — at least, not in the near future.

As IFLScience reports, the doctors reported the case because it was previously thought to be impossible to retain so many contact lenses and remain asymptomatic. This theory has, obviously, been proven wrong. The story also highlights the importance of receiving regular exams and learning how to properly care for eyeglasses and contact lenses.

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