Woman had 23 contact lenses stuck under her eyelid, doctor says

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Woman who felt like there was ‘something in her eyes’ actually had 23 daily disposables bonded contact lenses deep under his eyelid, his eye doctor reported.

Dr. Katerina Kurteeva of California Eye Associates in Newport Beach, Calif., was shocked to discover the group of contacts and “deliver” them last month in a case she documented on her. PageInstagram.

“I was just amazed myself. I was like, this is kinda crazy. I’ve never seen this before,” Kurteeva told TODAY. “All the contacts were hidden under the top cover in a stack of pancakes, so to speak.”


Courtesy of Katerina Kurteeva/California Eye Associates

The patient, who is 70 and asked to remain anonymous, has been wearing contact lenses for 30 years, the doctor said. She came to see Kurteeva on September 12 after complaining of a foreign body sensation in her right eye and also noticing mucus in that eye. She had been to the office before, but this was the first time Kurteeva had met her after acquiring the office last year. The woman had skipped her regular visits for fear of catching COVID-19.

Kurteeva first checked her eye to rule out a corneal ulcer or conjunctivitis. She also looked for an eyelash, piece of mascara, pet hair, or other common object that might be causing the foreign body sensation, but saw nothing on her right cornea at all. She noticed a discharge of mucus.

The woman said that when she lifted her eyelid, she saw something dark sitting there, but couldn’t get it off, so Kurteeva inverted her eyelid with her fingers and looked. But again, the doctor found nothing.

That’s when the ophthalmologist used an eyelid speculum, a metal instrument to hold the woman’s eyelids open and apart, allowing her hands to be freed up to perform a closer examination. She also administered a numbing drop with a yellow stain in it. Looking deeper under the eyelid, she saw the first contacts stuck together. She used a cotton swab to pull them out, but that was just the tip of the drop.

Kurteeva asked an assistant to take Pictures and a video of what happened next as she continued to tug on the contacts with the swab.

“It was literally like a card game,” Kurteeva recalls. “It kind of unraveled and formed a little chain link on his eyelid. While I’m doing it, I’m like, ‘I think I pulled off more than 10.’ And they just kept going. to come and to come.

Group of 23 contact lenses removed from a woman's eye.
Dr Katerina Kurteeva said she had never removed so many contact lenses from a patient’s eye.Courtesy of Katerina Kurteeva/California Eye Associates

There were 23 contacts in that eye in all, the doctor discovered after carefully separating them with jeweller’s pliers. She washed out the patient’s eye, but luckily the woman had no infection – just mild irritation that was treated with anti-inflammatory drops – and is doing well, Kurteeva said.

How is it possible for this to happen?

This is actually not the most extreme case. In 2017, British doctors found 27 contact lenses in the eye of a 67-year-old woman who believed dry eyes and aging were causing her irritation. Optometry Today Reported. She had been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for 35 years. The case was documented in The BMJ.

“Having two contacts in one eye is surprisingly common; having three or more is pretty extraordinary,” said Dr. Jeff Pettey, an ophthalmologist in Salt Lake City, Utah, told the American Academy of Ophthalmology about the 2017 case.

A woman had 23 disposable contact lenses removed from under her eyelid.
Kurteeva used jeweller’s pliers to carefully separate the contact lenses and count them.Courtesy of Katerina Kurteeva/California Eye Associates

Kurteeva’s patient told her she had no idea how it happened, but the doctor had theories. The woman probably thought she removed the lenses by sliding them to the side, but in fact she didn’t remove them and they just hid under her upper eyelid, she said.

The eyelid pouch, which is called a fornix, is a dead end – “nothing can ever travel to the back of your eye without recovery, it’s not like it’s going to go to your brain,” noted Kurteeva.

In an older patient, the fornix becomes very deep, which is linked to aging changes in the eye and face, and how the socket atrophies, resulting in sunken eyes, she said. declared. The contact lenses were placed so deep and so far from the cornea, the most sensitive part of the eye, that the woman didn’t feel the lump – until it became very large.

People who wear contacts for decades lose some of their corneal sensitivity, which could be another reason she didn’t feel gout, she added.

The woman “is really married to wearing contacts” and wants to continue using them, Kurteeva said. She saw the patient recently and said she was fine.

The case is a good reminder to be mindful of contact lens wear. Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses, and if you wear contact lenses every day, link your eye care to daily dental care – remove your lenses when brushing your teeth, that way you won’t forget ever,” Kurteeva said.

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