One doctor was left speechless when she discovered a patient had a bunch of disposable contact lenses lodged in her right eye – specifically underneath her eyelid! No joke!
On Thursday, Dr. Katerina Kurteeca, an ophthalmologist with California Eye Associates in Newport Beach, California, told Today a woman in her 70s came to her office back on September 12 complaining she felt “something in her eye” and noticed some mucus in the area. She began checking to see if she had a corneal ulcer or conjunctivitis. After ruling out those conditions, Katerina moved on to look for an eyelash, mascara, pet hair, or any object that could irritate her eye. However, she couldn’t find any items near the woman’s right cornea – except for some mucus discharge.
When the doctor lifted her eyelid, though, that’s when she spotted something dark stuck there and inverted the lid with her fingers to get a better look at what was going on. Still, Katerina came up empty-handed. Using a lid speculum, a wired instrument to keep the patient’s eyelid open, she put an anesthetic drop with a yellow stain in it inside her eye. And what the doc found under the eyelid was MULTIPLE contacts stuck together!
Katerina used a cotton swab and kept pulling out the contacts, recalling to Today:
“I was just amazed myself. I was like, this is kind of crazy. I’ve never seen this before. All the contacts were hidden underneath the upper lid in a pancake stack, so to speak.”
“It was literally like a deck of cards. It just kind of unraveled and formed a little chain link on her lid. As I’m doing it, I’m telling her, ‘I think I removed more than 10.’ And they just kept on coming and coming.”
Carefully separating the lenses with a jeweler forceps, she found out there were 23 contacts under the eyelid! Thankfully, the woman did not have an infection from them. She only experienced some mild irritation which was treated with anti-inflammatory drops and is doing fine now.
How did this happen? Well, Katerina claimed her patient said she doesn’t understand how the contacts got stuck in her eyelids. But the doctor believes she possibly attempted to remove the lenses by moving them to the side and never took them out, so they just kept getting buried underneath the lid. Since the eyelid pocket or fornix is a “dead end,” Katerina noted “nothing can ever travel to the back of your eye without retrieval, it’s not like it’s going to go to your brain.” However, the pocket can become very deep and sunken in due to changes to the face and eye from aging and how the “orbit atrophies.” Since the lenses were pushed so far away from the cornea, Katerina explained the woman most likely did not feel the stack of lenses until it became too big.
Another reason? Katerina mentioned to the outlet that people who wear contacts for a long time tend to lose their corneal sensitivity – and in this case, the patient had been wearing contact lenses for 30 years. And here’s another shocker for you! Despite what happened, Katerina shared that the woman “is really married to wearing contacts” and still wants to use them moving forward. Welp! Hopefully she remembers to take the lenses out this time! LOLz!
You can ch-ch-check out a video of the procedure Katerina posted on Instagram (below) – but warning, it is graphic!
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