BIRMINGHAM, England (KWQC) – Doctors in the U.K. discovered 27 contact lenses embedded in the eye of a 67-year-old woman who was being prepped for cataract surgery.
The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports the woman, who had not had regular eye checkups, was unaware the lenses were there and had not complained of eye pain.
Doctors initially found she had “a hard mass of 17 contact lenses bound together by mucus” in her right eye last November and later discovered an additional ten lenses in the same eye, according to the BMJ.
Optometry Today reports the woman “thought her discomfort was due to dry eye and old age.”
A surgical team was able to remove all 27 lenses.
Specialist trainee ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria, quoted by Optometry Today, says none of the surgical team, which included an ophthalmologist with more than 20 years of experience, had "ever seen this before.”
“The patient had worn monthly disposable lenses for 35 years,” according to the BMJ, which also reports that for doctors the woman’s case “highlights the importance of appropriate candidate selection and monitoring of contact lens wearers.”
The BMJ reports the decision was made to publicize this case “because the clinicians involved had previously not believed it was possible to retain so many contact lenses without being symptomatic.”
The woman's cataract surgery was postponed after the discovery of the lenses due to the risk of infection.