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(THE SUN) – A woman lost her contact lens … 28 years before doctors found it lodged behind her eye.
The now-42-year-old assumed the lens had fallen out, but in fact, it had moved behind her eye — yet didn’t cause any symptoms for years.
Then suddenly, six months before doctors discovered the lens, the unnamed woman started experiencing pain and swelling behind her eye.
It appeared the size of a pea to start with, but still didn’t cause any discomfort. Quickly, it began to grow larger and became painful to touch.
She was referred to an eye specialist, but the cause of the swelling remained a mystery.
There was no scarring or inflammation on the upper eyelid, just a lump close to her nose.
An MRI of the eye showed a cyst behind her left eye and she required surgery to remove it.
It was during the surgery that doctors realized the cyst was a hard contact lens.
But it still didn’t explain where the lens had come from.
Then her mother remembered that she was hit in the eye with a shuttlecock while playing badminton when she was 14.
At the time she was wearing contact lenses, but one of them wasn’t found, so they assumed it fell out.
She suffered swelling around the eye that eventually went down and she never wore hard contact lenses again.
“We can infer that the lens migrated into the patient’s left upper eyelid at the time of trauma and had been in situ for the last 28 years,” Dr. Sirjhun Patel wrote in the BMJ case report.
The patient also had a droopy left eyelid, which doctors assumed was also caused by the rogue contact lens.
Her vision was not damaged and she made a full recovery once the lens was removed.
“The migration of a rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens into the eyelid is a rare cause of eyelid swelling,” Patel added.
“Spontaneous migration of a hard contact lens into the eyelid is a relatively known occurrence, but we were only able to find four reported cases of lens migration secondary to significant trauma.
“This case report exhibits the longest time between traumatic RGP lens migration into the eyelid and presentation of eyelid swelling.”