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For anyone who wears contact lenses this story will come from the darkest depths of your nightmares.

A 67-year-old woman, was due to have cataract surgery at Solihull Hospital in the West Midlands.

However, before the surgery could even begin the surgeons discovered something truly horrifying.

17, that's right, 17 contact lenses were found in the eye of the patient and had melded together in what Optometry Today reports as a "blueish mass."

To make matters worse, upon a second inspection a further 10 were found in the same eye, bringing the grand total to 27.

Amazingly the patient was oblivious to the missing lenses and thought the discomfort might have been due to old age or a dry eye.

The team working on the operation, which included an ophthalmologist with 20 years of experience, said that they had never seen anything like this.

It was such a large mass. All the 17 contact lenses were stuck together. We were really surprised that the patient didn’t notice it because it would cause quite a lot of irritation while it was sitting there.

Because she had harboured these contact lenses in her eye for an unknown length of time, if we had operated she would have had a lot of bacteria around her conjunctiva.

Ms Rupal Morjaria, a specialist trainee, told Optometry Today.

As you could probably guess, the scheduled surgery was immediately cancelled as the patient was at an increased risk of endophtalmitis.

The patient in question had been wearing disposable lenses for 35 years but had not been attending regular optician appointments.

Despite this, her pre-operative assessment did not report any symptoms that are usually linked to missing lenses.

She was quite shocked. When she was seen two weeks after I removed the lenses she said her eyes felt a lot more comfortable. She thought her previous discomfort was just part of old age and dry eye.

Ms Morjaria added.

You might be wondering why this story has come to the public's attention, given patient confidentiality.

However, reporting on the discovery is of a public interest as experts didn't believe that something like this incident was actually possible.

In this day and age, when it is so easy to purchase contact lenses online, people become lax about having regular check ups.

Contact lenses are used all the time, but if they are not appropriately monitored we see people with serious eye infections that can cause them to lose their sight.

Henry Leonard, the clinical and regulatory officer at the Association of Optometrists added that the case exemplifies the importance of contact lens wearers seeking professional care on a regular basis to avoid any discomfort or infections.

Patients do sometimes present with a contact lens stuck under their upper eyelid, particularly if they are new to contact lens wear, or have problems with dexterity, but finding this many lenses stuck in someone’s eye is exceedingly rare.

Most patients would experience significant discomfort and redness, and be at risk of eye infections.

HT Optometry TodayTelegraph

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