Contact lens stuck inside woman’s eyelid for 28 years


When a 14-year-old Scottish girl was hit in the face by a shuttlecock while playing badminton, she thought the contact lens in her left eye had simply fallen out during the impact. 

The doctors who examined her came to the same conclusion. 

But almost 30 years later, medical personnel were shocked to discover the lens had actually lodged itself in her eye, and had been stuck there for the past 28 years. 

The case of the woman, who is now 42 years old and prefers to remain anonymous, was recently reported in BMJ Case Reports.

contact lens, contact lens stuck

                                                        The retrieved rigid gas permeable lens within the cyst

According to the Daily Mail, the lens came to light after the patient complained to her GP of swelling in her left upper eyelid.

"The MRI reported a cyst with proteinaceous content," the researchers said. "Proteinaceous" refers to the presence of a protein substance. 

"On surgical excision of the cyst, a rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens was found. The RGP lens was encapsulated within the upper eyelid soft tissue."

contact lens, contact lens stuck

                 MRI of the head: Red arrow: high-intensity signal nodular lesion in the left upper eyelid

The surgeons noted that there have been four other reported cases of contact lens migration because of trauma to the eye.

"This case report exhibits the longest time between traumatic RGP lens migration into the eyelid and presentation of eyelid swelling," they wrote

Doctors speculate that this must be the lens that was the residue of the childhood accident. "It can be inferred that the lens migrated into the eyelid and resided there asymptomatically for 28 years."

The patient has since then been released from hospital and has made a full recovery.

Images credit: BMJ Case Studies

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
The ANC's leadership race is heating up. Who do you think will be elected party president at Nasrec in December?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has got it in the bag
7% - 802 votes
I foresee a second term for Cyril Ramaphosa
83% - 9220 votes
Don’t discount a Zweli Mkhize win
10% - 1084 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.