Eye spying is a big deal: California doctor removes 23 contact lenses from woman’s eye

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An ophthalmologist in California has revealed that an elderly patient who complained of blurry vision actually had 23 disposable glasses contact lenses lodged in his eye.

“I was amazed when I pulled out the first two contacts and saw another dark spot hidden in the corner,” ophthalmologist Dr. Katerina Kurteeva of California Eye Associates told Newport Beach, Californiatold Fox News Digital via email.

“That’s when I grabbed my tech to film the rest of the foreign body removal,” she said.

“I had no idea what to expect,” the doctor said. “I have been practicing for 19 years and this is the first time I have encountered a case like this.”

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Kurteeva regularly shares eye health news, photos and videos on her Instagram account, @California_Eye_Associates.

Noting that a few years ago there was a reported case of multiple contact lenses being removed from one eye, she said: “My case is unique [in] that we were able to capture the withdrawal on video as it happened in a completely unpredictable way.”

The stack of lenses Dr. Kurteeva removed from the patient’s eye is shown in this image.
(Dr. Katerina Kurteeva, MD, board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, California Eye Associates of Newport Beach, CA)

Indeed, 27 lenses were removed from the eye of an elderly patient as she prepared for cataract surgery in the UK in 2017, eye health publication Optometry Today reported at the time. .

Kurteeva took a video of the lens removal she handled because she thought it might help with patient education.

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“It took me years to become an ophthalmologist and I consider it a privilege to practice in this field,” she said.

“If this meeting inspires young people to choose eye care as a profession, the world will be a better place for it,” she added.

“Most people will notice a blur in their vision when two or more contacts are stacked.”

Removing the 23 lenses was “therapeutic, not dangerous,” she said. “The patient hasn’t felt any pain since I pretreated her with a drop of anesthetic.”

Kurteeva also spoke about the potential dangers of contact lenses stuck in the eye.

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The biggest worry is a “dangerous infection with a bacteria called pseudomonas aeruginosa”, she said.

Contacts are shown emerging from the patient's eye (left);  Dr Katerina Kurteeva is pictured at right.

Contacts are shown emerging from the patient’s eye (left); Dr Katerina Kurteeva is pictured at right. “I’ve been practicing for 19 years and this is the first time I’ve come across a case like this,” she told Fox News Digital.
(Dr. Katerina Kurteeva, MD, board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, California Eye Associates of Newport Beach, CA)

“This bacterium likes [the] warm and humid environment of the surface of the eye and may stick to [the] contact lens surface and then transferred to the cornea – the transparent window of the eye,” she said.

“Within 24 hours, it can create a deep corneal ulcer and lead to severe vision loss.”

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Noting that it’s “rare” to put multiple contacts on at once, Kurteeva said it can happen if a person “forgets to remove an eye contact the night before.”

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“The new contact can be placed on [the] old,” she explained. “Most people will notice a blur in their vision when two or more contacts are stacked.”

When wearing contacts for the first time, be sure to undergo proper training at the doctor’s office.

A Connecticut woman who has worn contact lenses for more than 30 years told Fox News Digital that there have been “several times” she’s put one contact lens over another in the same eye.

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“You can usually tell right away that you did it because your vision is blurry,” she said.

“I remember one time, though, I came all the way from work and knew something was wrong, and I took two lenses out of one eye. It made me really questioning myself – and how busy I was at the time,” she added.

“You know you have too much on your plate when you have two contacts in one eye,” she said.

Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses, Dr. Kurteeva said.

Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses, Dr. Kurteeva said.
(Stock)

Dr. Kurteeva proposed the following safety tips for all contact lens wearers.

1. Never sleep with your contact lenses in your eyes.

2. Remove contacts every evening at the end of the day before brushing your teeth. Combine your dental care with your eye care to establish a routine and good habits.

3. Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.

4. For extended wear contact lenses, use the appropriate container and contact lens solution. Using hydrogen-based solutions such as Clear Care is the most effective way to remove protein buildup. however, this requires at least a six hour “spin time”, i.e. the time the lenses must soak in the solution.

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5. If you are wearing contacts for the first time, be sure to undergo proper training at the doctor’s office.

6. Consult your eye doctor if you wear contact lenses and your eyes become red or irritated for more than a day – this could be a sign of infection.

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