Parasitic worms found in teenager's eye, damaging his eyesight

Parasitic worms found in teenager's eye, damaging his eyesight

When doctors inspected the teenager's eye, they were surprised to discover a flatworm moving around the teen's eyeball.

Doctors from Mexico were surprised to discover a flatworm moving around a teenager's eyeball after the teen went to the doctor after three weeks of pain and decreasing vision in his eye.

"He could not even see our fingers"

A report regarding the case was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. According to the authors, "He could not even see our fingers" when they were held about a foot away from the teenager's face. Apparently, he could only hand motions with his right eye. His left eye wasn't affected.

During the eye exam, discovered that the cause of the teenager's pain and loss of sight was a flatworm moving around the eyeball. The extent of the damage was so severe that the cornea was swollen and speckled with blood, and there were multiple holes in the iris, which was caused by the worm moving around the eye.

In order to remove the worm, doctors had to remove his lens, as well as the liquid that fills the eyeball. They also discovered that the worm caused damage to the retina, which is located at the back of the eye.

His vision hasn't recovered

According to Dr. Pablo Guzman-Salas, one of the doctors who treated the patient, this was the "first and only" time that he'd seen a case like this. He shares, "It is not common for trematodes to infect eyes; it is not common for any kind of worm to infect eyes."

He adds that the type of worm discovered was a trematode, and it commonly comes into contact with humans through tainted food or water that has the worm or its eggs, as well as "really, really bad luck."

Usually, these trematodes infect a person's digestive tract, but in the teenager's case, it only infected his eye. Tests conducted on the teenager show that there were no signs of any worms in his digestive system.

The teenager was also given anti-parasitic medicine after the surgery, but sadly the vision in his right eye hasn't recovered even at 6 months after the treatment.


READ: Super Malaria: What parents need to know about this global threat

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