Here is a story which has a happy ending but that I am very sad to share with you nonetheless: after a 42-year-old woman came in complaining of a drooping left eyelid, doctors in the U.K. discovered a contact lens that had been lodged in her eyelid since a badminton accident 28 YEARS EARLIER. Ahh!
The woman said her left eyelid had been drooping for about six months, and when they touched it, doctors could feel a lump under the skin. They ordered an MRI, which revealed a “well defined” cyst just above her left eye. When they surgically removed the cyst, it broke open, and they found the lens.
As CBS reports, the woman wasn’t initially sure where this nearly 30-year-old lens had come from, let alone how it had remained in her eye unnoticed. Her mother, however, recalled that when she was only 14, the woman had lost a contact lens after being hit in the eye by a shuttlecock during a game of badminton.
According to BMJ Case Reports, the lens likely “migrated” (!) into the woman’s eyelid and then “resided there asymptomatically for 28 years.”
Experts aren’t sure how the contact lens managed to stay in the woman’s eye for so long without triggering any swelling, inflammation, or pain.
Still, at least she only had one lens lost in her eye. Last summer, the BMJ wrote up another case of forgotten contact lenses, when doctors discovered a whopping 27 lost lenses in a woman’s eye. The study suggested that the 67-year-old had not noticed the accumulation because of her “deep set eyes, which might have contributed to the unusually large number of retained foreign bodies.”
To revisit my earlier point: Ahh!