The find was initially made while the 67-year-old patient was being prepared for the procedure at England’s Solihull Hospital. Doctors administering anaesthesia were forced to stop when they found a “bluish mass” of 17 lenses stuck together with mucus.A later examination yielded a further 10 and the patient’s surgery was postponed due to an increased risk of endophthalmitis.According to one of the trainee ophthalmologists involved in the procedure, Ms Rupal Morjaria, the operating team were just as startled as the patient upon making the unusual discovery.“None of us have ever seen this before,” Morjaria told Optometry Today.“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,” she added.Despite wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for the past 35 years, the patient did not attend regular optometrist appointments and reported no symptoms linked to the missing lenses in her pre-operative assessment.“She was quite shocked. When she was seen two weeks after I roved the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable. She thought her previous discomfort was just part of old age and dry eye,” Morjaria said.A decision was made to publish the case, as the clinicians involved had previously not believed it was possible to retain so many contact lenses without any symptoms. The team also thought it was important to raise public awareness about contact lens safety.“In this day and age, when it is so easy to purchase contact lenses online, people become lax about having regular check ups,” Morjaria said.
“Contact lenses are used all the time, but if they are not appropriately monitored we see people with serious eye infections that can cause th to lose their sight.”The report on the case can be found in the July issue of the British Medical Journal.More reading:
Retained contact lensesIMAGE TOP: Courtesy Flickr/n4i