Anyone who wears contact lenses knows how uncomfortable it can be when they slip and get stuck under the eyelid. Which is why the case of a British woman who lost 27 lenses in the back of her eye is so stunning.

The 67-year-old woman recently went in for cataract surgery, and after doctors injected anesthetic into her eye, they found a “bluish mass” emerge from under her upper eyelid.

When they pulled it out, they found that it was a clump of 17 disposable contact lenses “bound together by mucus.”

A further examination of her eyes yielded another 10 individual lenses, the ophthalmologist team told Optometry Today last week.

It appears the woman had lost the contacts under her eyelid, where they had lodged in the “upper fornix” – the part where the upper eyelid connects to the eyeball. It’s unclear why she never sought help to remove the lenses.

Doctors reporting on her case in the British Medical Journal say the woman had been using contact lenses for 35 years and had never had any eye-related complaints.

The lead author of the report, Rupal Morjaria, a specialist trainee ophthalmologist, told OT they were surprised the patient hadn’t noticed the problem since the lump of lenses “would cause quite a lot of irritation while it was sitting there.”

The woman had “deep-set eyes, which might have contributed to the unusually large number of retained foreign bodies,” they write in their report.

“…This case highlights the importance of appropriate candidate selection and monitoring of contact lens wearers.”

They added that “double lid eversion” – meaning turning both eyelids inside out during an eye exam -- can help reveal dislodged contacts.

Morjaria said her team decided to publish a report about the case to raise public awareness about the need for regular eye exams.

She told OT that in a time when many buy their contact lenses online, it’s still important to have regular check-ups, since improper use of contact lenses can lead to serious eye infections.