Surgeons have removed a contact lens that was stuck in a woman’s eye for nearly three decades.
The patient went to her GP in Dundee complaining of swelling in her left eye and was left astonished when an MRI revealed a long-forgotten lens had been lodged in her eye socket for 28 years.
Now 42, the woman was unable to account for the foreign body, though her mother was able to recall her being hit in the eye with a shuttlecock when she was 14 – with both assuming the impact had simply knocked the lens out.
It has now been removed by surgeons, who reported the case in the BMJ. Dr Sirjhun Patel said: “We concluded that the lens migrated into the eyelid following trauma and was dormant for 28 years.
“The patient assumed the lens fell out and was lost; however, it can be inferred that the lens migrated into the eyelid and resided there. During surgery, an encapsulated cyst was found. On removal, the cyst ruptured and a hard contact lens was extracted.”
It follows another ocular oddity where a pensioner scheduled for cataract surgery in 2016 was found to have a total of 27 contact lenses in one of her eyes.
The 67-year-old patient had been unaware the lens were missing, telling surgeons at Solihull Hospital she thought the discomfort she was feeling was due to old age and dry eye.
The case, reported in Optometry Today, was reported as the largest number of mislaid contact lenses ever seen.
Specialist trainee ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria said: “None of us have ever seen this before.
“It was such a large mass. 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, who had been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for 35 years, had not been attending regular eye test appointments.
She told specialists she felt “a lot more comfortable” after the lenses were removed.