A California eye doctor has revealed that an elderly patient who came in with complaints of blurry vision actually had 23 disposable contact lenses lodged in her eye.

“I was amazed when I removed the first two contacts and saw an additional dark blob hidden in the corner,” Dr. Katerina Kurteeva, an ophthalmologist at California Eye Associates of Newport Beach, California, told Fox News Digital. 

“That’s when I grabbed my technician to film the rest of the foreign body removal,” she said.

“I had no idea what was coming at me, the doctor said. “I have been in practice for 19 years and this is the first time I had encountered a case like this.” 

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Kurteeva regularly shares eye health news, photos and videos on her Instagram account, @California_Eye_Associates.

Noting that there was a case reported a few years back of multiple contact lenses being removed from one eye, she said, “My case is unique is that we were able to capture the removal on video as it happened in a completely unpredictable fashion.”

The stack of lenses that Dr. Kurteeva removed from th epatient’s eye are shown in this image.
(Dr. Katerina Kurteeva, M.D., board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, California Eye Associates of Newport Beach, California.)

Indeed, 27 lenses were removed from an elderly patient’s eye as she was prepped for cataract surgery in the United Kingdom back in 2017, eye health publication Optometry Today reported at the time.

Kurteeva took a video of the lens removal she handled because she thought it might help with patient education.

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“It took me years to become an ophthalmologist and I consider it a privilege to practice in this field,” she said. 

“If this encounter inspires young people to choose eye specialty as their profession, the world would be a better place for it,” she added. 

“Most people will notice a blur in their vision when two or more contacts are stacked together.”  

The removal of the 23 lenses was “therapeutic, not dangerous,” she said. “The patient experienced no pain since I pretreated her with an anesthetic drop.”

Kurteeva also spoke about the potential dangers of contact lenses retained in the eye.

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The biggest worry is a “dangerous infection with a bacteria called Pseudomonas aurigenosa,” she said.

Contacts are shown coming out of the patient's eye (left); Dr. Katerina Kurteeva is shown at right. "I have been in practice for 19 years and this is the first time I had encountered a case like this," she told Fox News Digital.

Contacts are shown coming out of the patient’s eye (left); Dr. Katerina Kurteeva is shown at right. “I have been in practice for 19 years and this is the first time I had encountered a case like this,” she told Fox News Digital.
(Dr. Katerina Kurteeva, M.D., board-certified ophthalmologist and eye surgeon, California Eye Associates of Newport Beach, California.)

“This bacteria loves [the] warm and moist environment of the eye surface and can stick to [the] contact lens surface and then transfer to the cornea — the clear window of the eye,” she said. 

“Within 24 hours it can create a deep cornea ulcer and lead to severe vision loss.”

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Noting that it is “uncommon” to put in several contacts at a time, Kurteeva said it can happen if a person “forgets to remove a contact from the eye the night before.” 

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“The new contact can be placed over [the] old,” she explained. “Most people will notice a blur in their vision when two or more contacts are stacked together.”  

When wearing contacts for the first time, make sure to get proper training at the doctor’s office.

One Connecticut woman who has worn contact lenses for over 30 years told Fox News Digital that there have been “several times” that she has put in one contact lens over another in the same eye.

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“You can usually tell right away that you’ve done it, because your vision is blurry,” she said.

“I remember one time, though, I got all the way to work and knew something was wrong, and I pulled out two lenses from one eye. It made me really wonder about myself — and how busy I was at the time,” she added. 

“You know you’ve got too much on your plate when you have two contacts in one eye,” she also said.

Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses, said Dr. Kurteeva.

Always wash your hands before handling contact lenses, said Dr. Kurteeva.
(iStock)

Dr. Kurteeva offered the following safety tips for all contact lens wearers.

1. Never sleep with your contact lenses in your eyes.

2. Remove contacts every night at the end of the day before brushing your teeth. Tie your dental care to eye care to establish routine and good habits.

3. Wash your hands before handling your contact lenses.

4. For extended-wear contact lenses, use the proper container and contact lens solution. Using hydrogen-based solutions such as Clear Care are the most effective way to strip protein build-up; however, this does require at least a six-hour “turnover time” — meaning the time the lenses must soak in solution.

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5. If wearing contacts for the first time, make sure to get proper training at the doctor’s office.

6. See your eye doctor if you wear contact lenses and your eyes become red or irritated for more than a day — it could be a sign of infection.

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