The woman initially could not recall how the lens had gotten stuck in her eyelid, but her mother remembered that she had been hit in the eye while wearing contact lenses during a game of badminton at age 14. The family assumed the contact lens had popped out and was lost. She never wore rigid contacts after that incident.
The doctors are unsure why it took nearly three decades for the contact lens to create a problem. The woman had not previously reported any redness, pain or swelling, which are usual symptoms of a trapped lens. She did say, that her eyelid had been droopy for some time.
This isn't the first occurrence of a lost contact lens. In an article, also published in the British Medical Journal, doctors said they were preparing a 67-year-old woman for surgery when they found 27 contact lenses in the patient's eye, The lenses were clumped together in a "blueish mass" and "bound together by mucus."
Contact lens issues at any age can include infections and eye abrasions and even blindness. To prevent injury, doctors advise patients to keep lenses clean with a proper solution and to never wear your lenses longer than prescribed.