Curious case of the lost contact lens - after 28 years!

Kenny Tucker
August 19, 2018

Two brain scans (one from the top of the woman's head, and one from the side) showing the small cyst in her eyelid.

A team of doctors in Britain performed surgery on a woman with a swollen eyelid and found the cause - a contact lens that had been in her eye for 28 years.

Once the cyst and the lens were removed from the woman's eyes, her peepers went back to normal. The woman couldn't recall how the contact lens got there or how long it was there, but her mother remembered that she had been hit in the eye with a shuttlecock during a game of badminton 28 years ago.

That's what exactly happened to a 42-year-old woman in United Kingdom according to a BMJ Case Reports journal.

She was unable to find her contact lens after, leading to the assumption that it may have been knocked out of her eye during the injury. They then scheduled a surgery and removed the cyst.

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Gas-permeable contact lenses are made of rigid, durable plastic that transmits oxygen, not to be confused with popular soft contacts or old-fashioned hard contacts. On asking the lady they at first could not elicit how the lens got there.

The 67-year-old patient had been unaware the lens were missing, telling surgeons at Solihull Hospital she thought the discomfort she was feeling was due to old age and dry eye. She wore rigid contacts at the time, and the contact in the injured eye was never found.

Is there anything more annoying than losing a contact lens?

A recent BMJ Case Reportdetailed the 42-year-old woman's horrific experience. The family assumed it has fallen out.

According to the doctors in the report, they could, "infer that the [contact] lens migrated into the patient's left upper eyelid at the time of trauma and [remained there] for the last 28 years". She did tell officials that her left eyelid had been droopy for some time, but it hadn't been a cause for concern.

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