Kate Garraway has revealed the cause of her mystery eye injury was part of a six-day-old contact lens nurses discovered in the top of her eye.
The GMB presenter, 53, had visited a specialist eye hospital after suffering from an unknown eye condition, which had forced her to switch her usual contact lenses for glasses.
But the cause of the discomfort she had been feeling turned out to be a small piece of contact lens that had got lodged in her eye and had been stuck there for six days.
Revealing the unusual ailment to co-host Ben Shephard, the presenter explained that the discovery was made after a team of eye nurses had given her eye numbing drops and examined her eye.
“It turned out to be an extraordinarily complicated medical problem,” she joked.
“A team of eye nurses were absolutely baffled, but after some eye numbing drops so I wasn’t a big girls’ blouse, it was actually a contact lens stuck up in the top of my eye, it had been there for about six days!”
The mum-of-two admitted she had no idea she had not taken her contact lens out properly.
“I thought I had taken it out but there was a sneaky bit remaining,” she added.
“I feel a little bit embarrassed, like I had taken up people’s time just because of being untidy,” she added.
Though the presenter admitted she was not supposed to be wearing contact lenses for some time after her treatment, she revealed she could not resist wearing them for the show.
No doubt, Garraway’s reveal about the lost piece of contact lens will concern contact wearers amongst us. But before you dig out your glasses vowing never to wear your lenses again, it is worth noting that eye experts say contacts can’t actually get ‘lost’ in your eye.
Equally, while a contact lens can become dislodged and move around your eye uncomfortably, feeling as if it is stuck, according to Vision Direct, it is impossible for the lens to actually go behind your eye.
That’s because the conjunctiva, the soft, pink tissue which completely surrounds the eyeball, simply won’t allow the lens to fall behind the eyeball and out of reach.
“A contact lens cannot get stuck around the back of the eye, however, sometimes a contact lens can fold up and get lodged under the top or bottom eyelid,” explains Roshni Kanabar, optometrist and clinical and regulatory adviser for the Association of Optometrists.
So if your contact lens has dislodged how do you get it out?
“When you feel your contact lens has dislodged, it will probably have folded in half and will need to be removed carefully,” Vision Direct advises.
They suggest adding a few drops of contact lens solution to your eye, before closing your eye to massage the lid gently.
This may help to move the lens into a position where you can see it more easily in order to remove it.
If you still can’t see the lens, they recommend repeating the process to try to encourage the lens to return to its original position.
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If this still doesn’t work, an alternative, they suggest, is turning your eyelid inside out.
“To do this, place a cotton wool bud across the tips of your eyelashes and, while looking downwards, take hold of your eyelashes and turn your eyelid inside out with a rapid movement,” the site explains.
“Take care not to do this too forcefully as a gentle action will suffice. By tipping your head backwards you should be able to see the contact lens and you will be able to remove it from behind your eyelid.”
If, after following the steps above, you still can’t get the lens out it is worth seeking the help and advice of your optician, who should be able to remove the lens easily.
Contact lens best practice
While we’re on the subject of contact lenses, Roshni Kanabar has put together some tips on best contact lens practice.
Good lens wear and care is essential to prevent avoidable eye problems. Wash your hands and dry them thoroughly before using any type of contact lens and follow all the recommended procedures.
Never use tap water to clean lenses – this could lead to serious problems, including corneal ulcers and eye infections. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for cleaning, disinfecting and wearing the lenses.
Don’t share or swap lenses with anyone else.
If in doubt, take them out. If you experience any signs of redness, pain or loss of vision – consult your optometrist or optician immediately for advice.
Commit to regular after care appointments with your optometrist – at least once a year, or more often if your optometrist recommends it or if you’re experiencing problems.