This is the gruesome moment an elderly woman had 23 contact lenses removed from her eyeball. Eye doctor Katerina Kurteeva, from Newport Beach, California, can be seen scraping the stack of lenses out with a Q-tip.
The patient, who is in her 70s, went to the eye doctor when her vision gradually turned blurry and a sharp pain in her eyes became unbearable.
Even though seniors are encouraged to visit an eye doctor once a year for checkups, this woman had not been checked in two years.
Dr Kurteeva said the woman had been wearing contact lenses for 30 years and believes it was a case of extreme oversight.
The patient was lucky not to have lost her vision or suffered an infections, the doctor said. She told Dr Kurteeva she felt like there was something in her eye she couldn’t get out.
Initially, Dr Kurteeva thought the patient had a piece of broken contact lens on her eye or debris from makeup.
It was only when she used an eyelid speculum to hold open the upper and lower eyelid at the same time and asked the patient to look down that she noticed the edges of a couple of lenses stuck together.
Dr Kurteeva said in her 20 years as an optometrist, she had ‘never seen anything like it’.
A total of 23 daily contact lenses were trapped in an American woman’s eye
Dr Kurteeva said she’d never seen anything like it in all her 20 years of working as an eye doctor
Dr Kurteeva counted 23 separate lenses that had got stuck in one of her patient’s eyes
She pulled them out but could still see more, so she got her assistant to record the removal on her phone.
Once out, the Californian eye doctor peeled them apart and counted 23 in total.
She told Insider she had never seen anything like it in all her 20 years of practice.
The patient instantly felt much better but was just as stunned, and asked the doctor if she was sure there were that many.
The grisly video went immediately viral, with optometrists from Europe, Mexico and South America using it to warn people to take their lenses out every night.
Dr Kurteeva begged her patient to stay away from contact lenses and give her eyes a break, but she put some straight back in.
Ophthalmologist Dr Katerina Kurteeva didn’t notice the lenses at first as they were hiding at the back of the woman’s eye
Dr Kurteeva used a Q-tip to gently pull out the blob of old lenses
The lenses had been in there for two years, and the patient had forgotten to remove them
Optometrists around the world are using the graphic video to educate their patients on the importance of removing contact lenses every day before bed
A month after the removal, the doctor said her vision was back to normal and she was feeling infinitely better.
The eye doctor said she doesn’t know how the patient forgot to remove the lenses for all that time, but it might be due to the fact she has been wearing lenses for 30 years.
When wearing lenses for a long time, an individual’s corneal nerve endings will become desensitized, meaning the woman would not have felt the 23 lenses as intensely.
Her age may have also been a factor, Dr Kurteeva said, as older people have a much deeper eyelid fornix — the least sensitive area — and so the contact lenses stayed there for years without troubling her.
WHY SHOULDN’T YOU SWIM OR SHOWER WHILE WEARING CONTACT LENSES?
Swimming or showering while wearing contact lenses puts a person at risk of blindness.
Acanthamoeba keratitis (AK), an amoeba found in water around the world, can infect the cornea – the ‘clear window’ at the front of the eye.
The burrowing amoeba can penetrate through the eyeball, causing total vision loss within just a matter of weeks.
An analysis of all incidents recorded in the past 18 years showed that 86 per cent of patients had swam with their lenses in, according to a study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.
Contact lenses can create small abrasions in the eye, which make it easier for the amoeba to attach when the eye comes into contact with water.
As well as the risk of swimming, the scientists also highlighted the risk of rinsing lenses with tap water.
Acanthamoeba, which feed on bacteria, can be present in all forms of water, including lakes, oceans, rivers, swimming pools, hot tubs and even showers.
It can also be found in tap water and soil.
Although AK are generally harmless to humans, cornea infections can be extremely painful.
Treatment usually involves antiseptic drops that kill the amoeba, which may need to be taken every hour for the first few days, even while sleeping.