Doctors removed 27 contact lenses from a British woman’s eye, according to an NPR report published Sunday.
The 65-year-old patient was scheduled for a routine cataract surgery when specialists at the U.K.’s Solihull Hospital discovered a cluster of the thin, translucent medical products. Seventeen of the lenses were bunched, while 10 others were separately extracted, according to Optometry Today. Doctors didn’t find the clump of lenses until they were injecting anesthesia into her eye in preparation for the medical procedure.
“It was such a large mass. All the 17 contact lenses were stuck together,” ophthalmologist trainee Rupal Morjaria 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, who remains unidentified, never once indicated to doctors that she had intense discomfort or irritation in her eye. She reportedly has been wearing some form of contact lenses for 35 years, but rarely receives optometry checkups.
“When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable,” Morjaria explained. “She thought her previous discomfort was just part of old age and dry eye.”
The only pain the woman reported was related to the cataracts, or so she and the doctors thought.
Doctors delayed surgery once they made the discovery so that the eye could be completely cleared of all the lenses and any accompanying bacteria.
“Because she had harboured 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, referring to the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye, as well as the inner part of the eyelids. (RELATED: Doctors Surgically Remove $7,000 Of Cash From Woman’s Stomach, Colon)
She added that she hopes this situation will serve as a lesson, according to Optometry Today, since so many people often avoid undergoing routine eye examinations now that contact lenses can easily be ordered online.
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