What's more painful than a contact lens stuck behind your eyeball? (poss. TMI)

…how about HALF a contact lens stuck behind your eyeball??

Saturday morning, I was inserting a trial pair of new contacts (daily disposables, so I can stop buying all that expensive cleaning equipment, at last) when my finger slipped, and the lens vanished underneath my left eyelid. I spent several hours poking and prodding and peering in the mirror, and couldn’t find the damn thing. At first I was a little freaked out, thinking the lens had slipped behind the eyeball and got stuck in all the muscles and optic nerves back there :eek: :eek: – but after a visit to some medical forums (not the SDMB, since medical advice is verboten here) I learned that (1) it’s impossible for a lens to get stuck that far back, (2) it’ll probably work itself out on its own, and (3) even if it doesn’t, it’s not a major threat. Some patients related stories of having lenses stuck in their eye for weeks or even years…gee, thanks a lot guys! Something to look forward to! :rolleyes:

Anyway, I had an opthamologist appointment already set up for today, so instead of visiting Urgent Care I just kicked back and tried to avoid any kind of entertainment that involved using my eyes…kinda tricky, when I spend most of my free time writing, watching DVDs, and playing computer games! Irrigating the eye with saline & soaking my face with a warm damp rag helped a lot, and in fact I started thinking that the lens wasn’t in there at all anymore. But each morning when I woke up it freakin’ HURT like a bitch, so something was definitely not right in there.

So this afternoon I saw the eye doctor, a kindly Filipino woman who at first bitched me out for not wearing the trial pair like I was supposed to…but after explaining what happened, she decided to take a look. She spent five minutes looking in my eye and couldn’t find a damn thing, except a few broken blood vessels which I’d apparently popped while searching around on my own. Then, she finally ran across the lens. Or, more accurately, what was left of it. More irrigation and poking around, and the piece fell out.

The lens had been torn right in half, with nice sharp jagged edges that would be perfect to torture terrorists with. We didn’t find the other half, but she surmised that I must have torn the lens somehow, and the rest of it vanished down the sink. I did feel an immediate relief once that razor-sharp plastic thingy left my freakin’ eyeball…so hopefully, after a few days, the corneal scratches & other damage will heal up, and I can start wearing contacts again.

I won’t hijak your thread with my contact lens stories, but oh! I have felt your pain! I’m glad you didn’t scratch your eye.

So, uh…I guess the trial didn’t work out, then? :smiley:

Burn injuries. Whoa.

But I can understand your torment and am happy for your relief.

We see this sorta stuff quite often where I work. We also have a kindly Filipino female opthalmologist! She doesn’t bitch at anyone though :slight_smile: She sends the contact lens abusers over to me and says “tell this patient why he/she shouldnt’ be doing _____________”.

Daily disposables are awesome. They are the only lens safe to wear swimming or in the shower (because when you throw it away, you’re throwing away that day’s risk of waterborne infections, like acanthamoeba).

I’m really really glad you didn’t cause any long-term damage.

Speedy healing!

I feel your pain.
I have had it happen with a rigid gas permeable lense (semi hard).


Laser surgery worked for me!

What?! You’re not supposed to wear your contacts in the shower??

I feel your pain, OP. I’ve become remarkably adept with them, but I’ve had my share of contact weirdness.

Holy eye pain, Batman!!! I think it’s horribly painful just when my torsion (sp?) lens gets wonky and won’t turn around and scrapes my eye. That produces tons and tons of tears and a watery, puffy eye. I can’t IMAGINE how bad it would be to have half of one of those suckers stuck deep in there. Yowza!

I once had a friend whose new contact got stuck in her eye. Guess who was elected to get it out? The only thing worse than trying to get one out of your own eye, in my opinion, is trying to get a contact out of someone else’s eye.

Okay, I’ll tell you what hurts worse. Preparing fresh green chillies for a bowl of hot chilli-flavoured yummy stuff, and then thinking that washing your hands three times will get all the capsiacin off them before you put your lenses in.

You haven’t felt eye-related pain until you’ve been desperately struggling to get a chilli-flavoured soft contact lens out of an eye that has reflexively screwed shut, lemme tellya.

You’re all making me cringe! Chilipepper eye has GOT to be one of the harshest, just because of the fact that your eye won’t let you in!

And the whole showering/swimming thing? If you look up acanthamoeba keratitis, you’ll see what I mean. This is still a pretty rare infection, but it’s becoming a lot more common. We had an outbreak in Pennsylvania some years back, in a town where people rely on well water. But the pesky little bugger can live even in heavily chlorinated pool water, and that scares the bejeesus out of me. Fortunately, because of what I do, I can always get myself enough free daily disposables to cover me for vacations and the occasional trip to the pool.

Many doctors, if you ask them to, will prescribe your regular lenses, and then also prescribe daily disposables for summertime. Our doctors do it all the time for kids who are on swim team and stuff too.

I’m just glad the OP got the lens out without any real damage (I hope there’s no real damage, which the OP seems to be pretty confident of).

The trick to solving this horror is straight forward.

Lay down or tilt your head facing straight up and lift your eyelid. Then flood the sucker with lens solution. The lens will float to the top, for easy removal.

This has happened to me so many times that I’ve lost count; this method of removal has never failed me.

I was getting off a motorcycle and decided my contacts were a bit too dry. So… I get in the house and I go to take them out and only remove half. The other half promptly disappeared behind my eyeball.

After much poking, prodding, flushing, inverting eyelid, staring at the floor whilst slapping the back of my head, it finally, finally comes out.
It took almost two hours though and I stopped wearing them for years after that.

You have my sympathies.

I’m beginning to think I’ve been incredibly lucky with my contacts. I’ve been wearing two-week disposables since I was 15 and have never lost one behind my eyeball, inflamed my eye with hot peppers, or caught a disease from the pool.

Does this mean I should watch out, as it appears I’m long overdue??

One of the guys I used to work with got accidentally sprayed in the eye with hydraulic fluid. Not calm cool collected benign military-style hydraulic fluid, either; this was mean wicked skin-irritant commercial jet airplane hydraulic fluid.

He says the pain was simply incredible.

They finally latched onto his eyeball with a suction cup and pulled it partially out of the socket so they could rinse behind it. :eek:


We have a winner!, thanks for coming and don´t forget to turn off the light on the way out… whoa!, I´m feeling a bit diz… THUD!

Um, I think I’ll stick to glasses.

Mods! When are we getting the :barf: smiley? :eek:

That’s basically how it worked, though I don’t think I could have done it without help – it was shoved WAY back in there. I’ve had regular lenses slip out of position all the time, and normally they float back out on their own. The “half a lens” bit complicated things, this time.

The eyeball’s definitely feeling better, 24 hours later. It still hurts, but more of a “healing” type ache, as opposed to “OH DEAR GOD SHARP TALONS ARE CLAWING AT MY CORNEAS!” Plus I’m not getting any of those “eye boogers”, that lumpy yellow discharge which must have been the result of the ragged, sharp, terrorist-torturing edges scraping away at the skin of my sclera…forgot to add that part to the OP. :smiley:

I do think I’m going to stick with glasses most of the time, and wear contacts only for special occasions…