She was up to her eyeballs in contacts.
A California ophthalmologist was shocked to discover that a patient who complained of pain and blurriness had 23 contact lenses lodged in her eye after forgetting to remove them every day.
Dr. Katerina Kurteeva shared an eye-opening video that went viral of her delicately pulling out the thin lenses.
“A rare occasion when someone ‘forgot’ to remove contact lenses at night and kept on putting a new one in every morning. 23 days in a row!!! I got to deliver the contact lens bunch yesterday in my clinic,” Kurteeva wrote on the California Eye Associates Instagram page.
“They were essentially glued together after sitting under the eyelid for a month,” the doctor added after expressing her amazement at the more than one million views her video generated.
Kurteeva wrote about the unusual procedure she performed on the woman in her 70s in an essay for Insider.
“Even though we ask seniors to come in once a year for checkups, this woman had skipped appointments and hadn’t been to the office in two years. Although her vision was blurry, it was the pain that bothered her most,” the doctor wrote.
“My mind jumped to the possibilities of what it could be: a piece of broken contact lens, a scratch on the cornea, an infection, an eyelash, or debris from makeup. I’d only know for sure once I did the examination,” she continued.
After an initial examination, Kurteeva said she used an eyelid speculum, which keeps both the upper and lower lids open, to search more deeply.
“When I asked her to look down, I could see the edges of a couple of contacts stuck to each other. Pulling them out, I felt like I could still see more and asked my assistant to get my phone to record the removal,” she wrote.
“Asking the patient to look down again, I could see a huge, dark-purple blob of contact lenses stuck to her eye. It almost looked like a second pupil,” Kurteeva continued.
“I gently started using a Q-tip to peel the lenses apart one by one, like you would deal a deck of cards. They were coming out in a chain, drooping down her lid,” she said.
“There were a lot of contact lenses — I thought this could be my Guinness Book of World Record moment,” the doctor added. “In nearly 20 years of practice, I had never seen anything like it. The patient couldn’t believe it either and asked if I was sure about the number I was counting.”
The doctor explained that her patient was very lucky not to have suffered lasting damage.
“She could have lost her vision, scratched her cornea, or gotten an infection. I begged her not to wear contact lenses again and give her eyes a break, but she’s gone straight back to wearing them,” Kurteeva said.
“I saw her a month after the examination and she was doing really well, feeling much more comfortable and seeing clearly,” she added.
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