A 67-year-old woman attending cataract surgery was found to have amassed 27 contact lenses in one of her eyes.

She had no previous ocular complaints but did have reduced vision in the eye in question.

Specialist trainee in ophthalmology Rupal Morjaria said during peribulbar anaesthesia a foreign body emerged as a hard mass of 17 contact lenses bound together by mucus.

She then had an examination under anaesthetic by Morjaria, who found another 10.

The patient’s cataract surgery was postponed due to increased risk of infections, and she was treated with antibiotics.

She had worn monthly disposable lenses for 35 years. Her poorer vision in the right eye and deep set eyes may have been linked with the unusually large number of retained foreign bodies, medics at Solihull hospital said.

‘This case highlights the importance of appropriate candidate selection and monitoring of contact lens wearers. Double lid eversion and fluorescein staining of the ocular surface can reveal dislocated contact lenses in the upper fornix,’ they said in a report published by The BMJ.

Morjaria said the patient had routine cataract surgery at a later date, and her eye was much more comfortable after the lenses were removed.

‘She was very surprised when I told her on the day of initial surgery, but relieved that we found a reason for the foreign body sensations she had for years. She had ignored this and thought it was part of her,’ she told Optician.