When a 14-year-old Scottish girl was hit in the face by a
shuttlecock while playing badminton, she thought the contact lens in her left
eye had simply fallen out during the impact.
The doctors who examined her came to the same conclusion.
But almost 30 years later, medical personnel were shocked to discover the lens had actually lodged itself in her eye, and had been stuck there for the past 28 years.
The case of the woman, who is now 42 years old and prefers to remain anonymous, was recently reported in BMJ Case Reports.
The retrieved rigid gas permeable lens within the cyst
According to the Daily Mail, the lens came to light after the patient complained to her GP of swelling in her left upper eyelid.
"The MRI reported a cyst with proteinaceous content," the researchers said. "Proteinaceous" refers to the presence of a protein substance.
"On surgical excision of the cyst, a rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lens was found. The RGP lens was encapsulated within the upper eyelid soft tissue."
MRI of the head: Red arrow: high-intensity signal nodular lesion in the left upper eyelid
The surgeons noted that there have been four other reported cases of contact lens migration because of trauma to the eye.
"This case report exhibits the longest time between traumatic RGP lens migration into the eyelid and presentation of eyelid swelling," they wrote.
Doctors speculate that this must be the lens that was the residue of the childhood accident. "It can be inferred that the lens migrated into the eyelid and resided there asymptomatically for 28 years."
The patient has since then been released from hospital and has made a full recovery.
Images credit: BMJ Case Studies