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News that a 67-year-old woman had amassed 27 contact lenses in one of her eyes is hard to believe, but shows how easy it can be for some patients to risk their eyesight through poor care.

Optician magazine reported the case after it was highlighted by the British Medical Journal.

Contact_lenses_BMJAccording to Optician “She had no previous ocular complaints but did have reduced vision in the eye in question.”

“Specialist trainee in ophthalmology Rupal Morjaria said during peribulbar anaesthesia a foreign body emerged as a hard mass of 17 contact lenses bound together by mucus.”

“She then had an examination under anaesthetic by Morjaria, who found another 10.

“She had worn monthly disposable lenses for 35 years. Her poorer vision in the right eye and deep set eyes may have been linked with the unusually large number of retained foreign bodies, medics at Solihull hospital said.”

The full story can be read here.

‘She was very surprised when I told her on the day of initial surgery, but relieved that we found a reason for the foreign body sensations she had for years. She had ignored this and thought it was part of her,’ she told Optician.

The case demonstrates the need for contact lens users to have regular tests with their optician, not only to detect such rare cases as this one, but also for any other conditions that might change over time.

Regular appointments combined with good contact lens hygiene and management practice can ensure good eyecare and avoid such cases as these.

Photo: British Medical Journal Publishing Group