A British woman unknowingly lived with a contact lens under her eyelid for 28 years, according to a paper published in the BMJ Case Reports.
Doctors found the missing lens after the 42-year-old woman complained about lump above her left eye that painful to touch. Her eyelid also drooped slightly, a symptom that she said had been around for a while.
An MRI revealed a lump in the area consistent with a cyst. Doctors determined they would perform surgery to remove the mass. While doing so, the cyst ruptured — revealing the contact lens.
According to the case authors, the lens was a hard contact lens consistent with those used in the 1960s and 1970s — they’re much less common today.
One of the dangers of hard lenses is their susceptibility to dislodge into the eye during sports and activities.
According to the operating doctors, this is most likely what happened to the 42-year-old woman. Their suspicion was confirmed when the woman revealed that, when she was 14, she stopped wearing contact lenses after being hit in the eye during a badminton match. She assumed her lens had fallen out of her eye.
Doctors determined that instead, it lodged in her eye, and stayed there for nearly 30 years.