Doctor Discovers Many Contact Lenses in a Patient's Eye

Video becomes a viral reminder to take contacts out every night
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2022 6:10 PM CDT
Doctor Discovers Many Contact Lenses in a Patient's Eye

Overdue for a checkup, a California woman dealing with blurry vision and pain in her right eye finally went to see her ophthalmologist, saying it felt like there was something in her eye that she was unable to remove. So Dr. Katerina Kurteeva, who practices in Newport Beach, took a look, Insider reports. The potential causes that occurred to her first included a bit of a broken contact lens, an eyelash, makeup debris, or even a cornea scratch. The possibility of nearly two dozen contacts stuffed into the woman's eye did not immediately occur to Kurteeva.

Employing an anesthetic and a yellow stain to help her spot scratches or foreign bodies, the doctor didn't see any problems on the cornea. Eventually, after Kurteeva asked the patient to look down, she spotted edges of a couple of contacts stuck to each other. She began pulling them out. Then she saw more, a blob stuck to the eye. "It almost looked like a second pupil," Kurteeva told Insider. The contacts came out in a chain as she removed them. "There were a lot of contact lenses—I thought this could be my Guinness Book of World Record moment," Kurteeva said. She posted a video of the lenses on her office Instagram account.

The patient, who's in her mid-70s, has been wearing contacts for more than 30 years, and Kurteeva said the corneal nerve endings can become less sensitive over such a period, keeping her from feeling the 22 extra lenses. Kurteeva checked her patient a month later and found she's doing well and wearing contacts again, though the ophthalmologist had recommended taking a break. Other outcomes were possible, including an infection, loss of vision, or cornea scratch, Kurteeva said. "It doesn't always end this well," she told KABC. The video went viral and is being used by optometrists around the world to remind patients to remove their contacts at night, every night. (Read more contact lenses stories.)

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