Contact lenses are one of the most convenient inventions for those who have vision problems. It seems like such a simple concept, out with the old and in with the new but it seems as if some people miss one of those steps.
Rupal Marjaria, a specialist trainee ophthalmologist along with Amit Patel, a consultant ophthalmologist and Richard Crombie, a consultant anesthesiologist had something to say on the subject. They wrote a report for the British Medical Journal stating that a 67-year-old woman had 27 contacts lodged in her eye.
The woman was being prepped for routine cataract surgery at England’s Solihull Hospital. It was then that they discovered a ‘blueish foreign body’ in her right eye.
“[Crombie] put a speculum into the eye to hold the eye open as he put the anesthetic in, and he noticed a blue mass under the top eyelid,” Morjaria told CNN.
Marjaria was the lead author and said the ‘hard mass’ was actually 17 contact lenses that were clumped together with mucus. They looked further to find another 10 lenses in the same eye.
“None of us have ever seen this before,” said Morjaria. “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.”
Dr. Thomas L. Steinemann was amazed. He is a clinical spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He has treated other patients with one contact lodged in their eye but feels that 27 is ‘one for the record books, as far as [he] could tell’.
What in the world happened?
It seems that this woman understood the concept behind putting in contact lenses. After all, she had worn them for about 35 years. The woman later admitted that she would sometimes try to remove the contact from her right eye but it seemed to be gone.
She just assumed that she had dropped the lenses but in reality, they were getting stuck around her eye.
She had some discomfort but thought that it was just due to old age or dry eyes. In addition, she had not gone in for many ophthalmologist appointment. She does have deep-set eyes and the irritation was only trivial. She didn’t feel it was enough to go to a doctor.
Morjaria wants people to know about this danger.
At one point, it was thought that having that many contacts in your eye was impossible but not any longer. Even though it was an extreme case, it is still something everyone that wears contact lenses should be aware of.
“Patients do sometimes present with a contact lens stuck under their upper eyelid, particularly if they are new to contact lens wear, or have problems with dexterity, but finding this many lenses stuck in someone’s eye is exceedingly rare,” said Henry Leonard, the Association of Optometrists’ clinical and regulatory officer. “Most patients would experience significant discomfort and redness, and be at risk of eye infections.”
As outlined by Steinemann, warning signs of a trapped contact lens include:
Sharp or scratchy pain
After discovering the contact lenses in her eyes, the cataract surgery was put on hold. There was too much bacteria and the risk of infection was great. She was feeling ‘much better’ 2 weeks later when she came in for her surgery.
Watch this short video for some tips every contact lens wearer could benefit from knowing.
Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before using any type of contact lens, being sure to follow the recommended procedures.
– Never use tap water to clean lenses.
– Ask your optometrist before changing how you clean your contact lenses.
– Replace your contact lenses regularly to reduce the risk of infection.
– Only wear contact lenses for the recommended amount of time.
– Unless given the go-ahead by your optometrist, don’t bathe or swim with your contact lenses in.
– Never share or swap contact lenses with other people.
– Always apply make-up after putting your contact lenses in.
– At least once a year, or as recommended by your optometrist, go to regular after-care appointments.
– When in doubt, take them out — especially if you notice redness, pain, or loss of vision — and contact your optometrist.