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A surgeon found 27 contact lenses in a woman’s eye

A total of 27 contact lenses were found in a woman’s eye, leaving doctors baffled.

A 67-year-old woman was bound to have cataract surgery at Solihull Hospital in the West Midlands. Before the surgery started, the surgeons discovered something that left them horrified: 17 contact lenses were found in the eye of the patient and had melted together in a “blueish mass”, as Optometry Today reports. A second inspection revealed 10 more contact lenses in the same eye. The patient was oblivious to the missing lenses and believed her discomfort was caused by old age or a dry eye.

It was such a large mass,” Ms Rupal Morjaria, a specialist trainee, told Optometry Today. “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. 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.”


The scheduled surgery was cancelled as the patient was at increased risk of endophtalmitis. The woman has been wearing disposable lenses for 35 years, but had not have regular optician appointments, according to the Independent. However, her pre-operative assessment did not report any symptoms usually linked to missing lenses. “She was quite shocked,” Morjaria explained. “When she was seen two weeks after I removed 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.”

Henry Leonard, the clinical and regulatory officer at the Association of Optometrists, explained why the case exemplifies the importance of seeking professional care on a regular basis to avoid any discomfort or infections if you are a contact lens wearer. “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,” he said. “Most patients would experience significant discomfort and redness, and be at risk of eye infections.”

Daisy Wilder