In case you needed something to panic about today, may I direct your attention to this woman who lost a contact in her eye for 28 years? No? I may not direct your attention there? Well, too late because that’s where we’re headed so come alone for the ride.
As reported by CBS on Wednesday, a 42-year-old women in the UK went into the eye doctor to ask about a problem she’d been having: Over the past half a year, her left eyelid had become swollen and was drooping. Doctors were able to feel a small lump in her eyelid, and an MRI revealed a “well-defined” cyst located above her left eye. The doctors were able to surgically remove the cyst, which measured 8 by 4 by 6 millimeters, according to journal BMJ Case Reports. That’s it. The end. All done!
Just kidding! Upon removal, the cyst broke open to reveal a hardened contact lens at its center. According to reports, the woman was initially confused since she hadn’t worn contacts for a very long time and was unsure how it got there in the first place.
That is until her mother reminded her of an incident that happened when she was 14: During a game of badminton, the then-teenager had been hit in the eye by the shuttlecock. She lost the contact at the time but thought nothing of it.
... That is until 28 years later when doctors removed the cyst-enclosed contact from her eye. Just a whole entire contact lens, nestled safely in her eyelid, surrounded by a cyst, for almost three full decades. Cool, cool, cool. Very chill and cool!
Doctors were understably amazed how the lodged contact hadn’t caused issues earlier. However, until the growing droopiness and recent swelling, doctors said there were no “elicited triggers” to incite any symptoms. The woman admitted her eye had been drooping for some time, but she hadn’t been concerned about it until the swelling started to occur. In their report, doctors say the contact was to blame for the drooping. While I didn’t go to medical school, that checks out with me.
This story takes second only to another recent contact-related case in which a woman had 27 contact lenses in one eye. Yes, twenty-seven whole, entire contacts. To clarify, she only had two eyes.
During a routine cataract surgery, doctors discovered what they described as a “bluish foreign body.” That foreign body turned out to be an ungodly number of contact lenses. While they were applying anesthesia into her eye, doctors found an initial lump of 17 contacts. Doctors then discovered an additional 10 contacts in her eye.
“She was quite shocked,” Rupal Morjaria, the specialist trainee ophthalmologist who was the woman’s doctor, told Optometry Today. “Quite shocked” seems like quite an understatement.
As with this most recent contact-related incident, doctors were surprised that the lodged contacts hadn't caused any sort of infection or long-term damage. “She thought her previous discomfort was just part of old age and dry eye,” Dr. Morjaria told Optometry Today.
Nope. Just 27 contact lenses.
In case you needed a reminder after both of those stories, proper hygiene of contact lenses is important to your eye health. Overwearing dirty contact lenses and skipping your yearly eye exam are two of the most common mistakes contact lens wearers make. Not only can your contact lenses be a breeding ground for parasites, that bad bacteria can mess with your body’s biome, leading to more serious issues.
Thankfully, both women’s eyes are safe and contact cyst-free. Still, you may want to avoid playing badminton. You know, just in case.