In a bizarre medical case, a British woman somehow had more than two dozen contact lenses in one eye but didn’t realize it.
The case, which was published July 5 in the British Medical Journal, has made international headlines after the ophthalmologist responsible for extracting the stack of contacts spoke to the media recently.
According to the BMJ, the case itself occurred back in November, when a 67-year-old woman went to the doctor for a “routine” eye surgery, Rupal Morjaria wrote.
When the surgery began, however, Morjaria and her fellow doctors extracted a “blue mass” of 17 contacts, all stuck together, according to Optometry Today. Later, the doctors found another chunk of 10 contacts, bringing the total to 27 contacts in one eye.
“None of us have ever seen this before,” Morjaria told OT.
“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.”
According to OT, the patient had been wearing monthly disposable contacts for 35 years but did not regularly go to the eye doctor and had no idea that many contacts were in her eye. Morjaria said the patient had credited her discomfort to old age and dry eyes.
“She was quite shocked,” Morjaria said. “When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable.”
It is unclear how long the woman had been living with the contacts in her eye. According to Piedmont Healthcare, the FDA recommends that even long-term wear contacts be removed overnight at least once per week to be cleaned and to allow the eye to take in oxygen. Wearing contacts too long can cause corneal damage.