Doctors discovered a 28-year-old contact lens in this woman's eye
Most of us have some regret in our lives.
Whether a past action that we wish we had handled rather differently, or a failure to pursue a dream, many of us carry around lamentations of the past with us every day.
Of course, it is easy to much easier to see the right path with the benefit of hindsight, but that doesn't stop us wishing that we could go back in time and do it all slightly differently.
There is, though, little point in ruminating on the past; all that we can do is make the best of the time that is left to us.
In the case of one 42-year-old woman, it had been an astonishing 28 years since a shuttlecock hit her in the eye when she was playing badminton. The woman's mother recalled that, though they treated the injury as best they could at the time, they never found the dislodged contact lens, leading them to presume that it must have fallen out of the woman's eye.
The case, published in medical journal BMJ Case Reports, states that a woman visited doctors with a pea-sized lump just below her left eyebrow;
"A patient presented with left upper eyelid swelling and ptosis. The MRI reported a cyst with proteinaceous content. 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. It was later revealed that the patient experienced childhood trauma while wearing RGP contact lenses 28 years previously.
"The patient assumed that the RGP lens fell out and was lost; however, it can be inferred that the lens migrated into the eyelid and resided there asymptomatically for 28 years."
Though the lens was removed without complication, experts are said to be bemused as to how the lens remained in the eyelid for such a long period of time without causing pain until relatively recently.
As researchers put it;
"The migration of a rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens into the eyelid is a rare cause of eyelid swelling.
"Spontaneous migration of a hard contact lens into the eyelid is a relatively known occurrence, but we were only able to find four reported cases of lens migration secondary to significant trauma.
"This case report exhibits the longest time between traumatic RGP lens migration into the eyelid and presentation of eyelid swelling."
The woman never used the rigid gas-permeable contacts again after the incident.
The report was published on BMJ Case Reports.