A 67-year old woman in the UK was about to undergo eye surgery for cataracts when her surgeon made an amazing discovery. First, the surgeon discovered a “bluish mass” in her eye. He then injected some anesthesia into her orbit before attempting to remove the mass.
Much to the surprise of the surgeon and his team, that mass was a collection of 17 contact lenses that had glued together over the course of many years. As the they inspected further, they retrieved an additional 10 contact lenses in her eye, bringing the grand total to 27!
While this story has been reported recently, it occurred last year. The eye surgeon who made the discovery, Dr. Rupal Morjaria, is hoping the story will help bring some attention to the importance of diligent eye care.
“None of us have ever seen this before,” Dr. Morjaria said in an interview with 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 patient’s cataract surgery was even postponed for fear the mass surrounding the contacts contained bacteria that could’ve rendered her blind. In speaking with her, Dr. Morjaria found out she had been wearing disposable contacts for over three decades. She apparently didn’t realize she had been inserting new contacts over old ones and losing contacts in the space underneath her eyes.
Her case is shedding new light on how much a person’s eye can tolerate. Before the discovery, it was believed that one or two missing contacts could inflame or irritate someone’s eye so much they’d have to get a doctor removed them. It’ll make you think twice before you fall asleep with your contacts in next time.
Though the patient didn’t go to the doctor for assistance prior to her cataract surgery — she was reportedly “shocked” when the discovery was made — she did say she felt a lot more comfortable after Dr. Morjaria removed the contact lenses. While she thought her previous discomfort was just part of “old age and dry eye,” according to Dr. Morjaria, she apparently had a much higher tolerance for eye pain than the average person.
Regardless, make sure to get your eyes checked regularly especially if you’re reading this article; eye strain from digital devices brings all sorts of new challenges to the human eye.