It seems to be a hot story flying around and we’d be remiss not to mention it.
From the British Medical Journal: “Ophthalmologist finds 27 contact lenses in patients eye
The complete tale from Optometry Today:
It seems the patient reported for her scheduled cataract surgery and during the surgical prep to anesthetize her eye, they found a large bluish mass of 17 contact lenses stuck together. Upon further digging around, they found another 10.
For those of you who wear contacts on a daily basis… how in the world did she not notice? I wore lenses back in my youth and honestly, just having a soft lens inside out would drive me batty. On a rare occasion one would crumple up and get stuck under an eyelid (always when I was in a hurry to go somewhere. Slow and steady wins the contact lens insertion battle) and when they did crumple like that, no way was I leaving until it was out. I can’t imagine a mass of 10 and a mass of 17 just hanging out in there.
I have to ask though… how did the clinician who did all of the pretest for the cataract before the surgery not notice a mass like that? How did the patient not stop to think “I’ve got all of these old contact lens packages that I’ve used, but I haven’t thrown one away in a month. I wonder how they’re all just falling out.”
I know people get busy and distracted and sometimes lose focus on what they’re doing, but… 27 times?
I have so many questions that will probably just go unanswered.
The articles state that she’d been a wearer for 35 years; that she thought she just had a bad case of dry eye and getting older. Ok. But I still wonder about her exams prior to surgery. Why hadn’t any clinicians caught those masses. Was she not getting regular exams? Were the exams just more of a screening and refill of her Rx?
I guess that would be the message from all of these articles. Go to your regular exams. And if you ever notice some weird feelings inside your eyelids, please get it checked out to make sure it’s nothing serious. Masses of contacts like that won’t just go away without a little intervention.