dr Katerina Kurteeva said she had never seen anything like it.
Kurteeva, an ophthalmologist at California Eye Associates in Newport Beach, said a patient came into her office complaining of eye pain and blurred vision. She went through the typical list of diagnoses: a scratched cornea, some kind of infection, or even stuck debris.
What she found were 23 contact lenses stuck in the woman’s right eye.
“In almost 20 years of practice, I’ve never seen anything like it,” Kurteeva said in an essay for Insider.
Kurteeva used a cotton swab to gently pry the lenses apart “like you’re dealing a deck of cards,” she said in the story. A chain of contact lenses began to flow out of the patient’s eye one by one. So many lenses were removed that at one point the patient asked Kurteeva if she was still counting them, she said.
A photo and video of the removal, taken by Kurteeva’s assistant, was posted to California Eye Associates’ Instagram page and has since gone viral, racking up more than 3 million views.
“It almost looked like a second grader. I carefully began using a cotton swab to pull the lenses apart one at a time, like dealing a deck of cards,” Kurteeva said in the story. “They came out in a chain and lowered their lid. There were a lot of contact lenses – I thought this might be my moment in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
While she’s not sure exactly how her patient forgot to remove nearly a month’s worth of contact lenses from her eye, one possible reason is that the patient became desensitized to the sensation of contact lenses. This is caused by years of wear — and is typical of frequent contact lens wearers, Kurteeva said.
Kurteeva said the woman was “very lucky” not to have severely damaged her eye or, worse, experience permanent vision loss.
“I feel really lucky to have captured this on video to remind people to remove their contact lenses every night,” Kurteeva said in the story. “It was a happy ending, but it could have gone wrong very quickly.”
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-10-19/contact-lenses-removed-from-patients-eye-california-ophthalmologist Woman has 23 contact lenses removed from eye by ophthalmologist