Contact Lenses: the murder weapon
A woman’s contact lenses almost killed her.
This is one for the record books. In England, a woman recently was being prepared for routine cataract surgery and doctors made a shocking surprise. What had been identified as a “bluish foreign body” leading to surgery actually turned out to be 27 contact lenses. From one eye. 27 lenses.
SOMEHOW WOMAN FELT NO PAIN, NO DISCOMFORT
Opthalmologist Rupal Morjaria commented that, “She was quite shocked.” She, in this instance, being the patient. But it’s clear everyone involved, everyone reading this, is shocked. Morjaria also shared that she and her colleagues were startled to find 17 contact lenses clumped together as they were injecting anesthesia into the woman’s eye at Solihull Hospital, southeast of Birmingham.
But they then continued to remove lenses; 10 more, in fact. But their continued surprise was that the patient had no complaints of irritation or pain, which seemed impossible given what they found.
WOMAN ASSUMED SYMPTOMS WERE FROM OLD AGE, NOT 27 CONTACT LENSES
“When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable,” Morjaria tells Optometry Today. “She thought her previous discomfort was just part of old age and dry eye.”
The woman had not complained about problems other than cataracts, according to the report Morjaria and others published in the British Medical Journal. The patient had been wearing monthly disposable contact lenses for some 35 years, she said.
DOCTORS WARNED TO LOOK FOR UNUSUAL EYEFULS
Morjaria said she hopes the episode, which occurred last winter, raises awareness for patients who wear contacts but might go long periods without getting an eye exam — perhaps because they order them online rather than in person.
The incident should also raise issues for optometrists, she said, noting that the mass of contact lenses hadn’t triggered an obvious infection.
REFERRING CLINICIAN AN IDIOT, DIDN’T SEE 27 LENSES IN WOMAN’S EYE
Their BMJ article prompted one physician to remark in the comment section, “It does make one wonder about the appropriateness and completeness of the examination of the referring clinician!”
As for the surgery that had been planned — it was postponed, in part to allow bacteria that had accumulated to clear from the area of the eye.