Aaai! Doctors discover worm in Indian eye with pain and poor eyesight

A 25-year-old Indian man sought medical help after his left eye reddened and began to hurt. In addition, his vision was blurred and he saw floating shapes such as dots, lines and clouds. It felt like something was moving inside her eyeball and was casting a shadow in her field of vision. It was at least two weeks with reduced vision, according to the Live Science website.

The boy, treated in New Delhi, underwent tests, and the diagnosis confirmed the symptoms - there really was a living, wormlike worm moving inside his eye. The bug is a parasite known as Loa loa, transmitted by a fly and that can affect both the organ of sight and other parts of the body.

The man underwent surgery to remove the worm, which was located in the vitreous cavity, farther back of the eye - between the lens and the retina. The disease caused by this worm is called loaiasis, and it is the first time that there is a record of the disease in this part of the eye. The case was reported in the scientific journal BMJ Case Reports last January 8.

Rare case

Besides the affected body part, which, according to the report that presented the case, was an unprecedented condition, other factors also caused doubts in the doctors. Worms in the eye are very rare in India, and the professionals who attended the boy said they had never seen this kind of worm in this condition. At other times, these were other species of parasites, according to Live Science, ophthalmologist and eye surgeon Dr. Bhagabat Nayak.

Fruit Fly Type

The doctor, who works at the Center for Ophthalmic Sciences in the Indian capital, is coauthor of the report. He further argued that the disease-carrying insect species is generally more common in tropical regions and forests, such as in western and central Africa. The suspicion, then, is that man's occupation may have contributed to the contamination. The boy is a fruit seller, and flies that live on this type of food can also carry the parasite.

Another point that may have contributed greatly is the time when contamination occurred. According to the report, the case occurred in August 2014, during the rainy season, when transmitting insects tend to reproduce.

The parasite and removal surgery

The 25-year-old boy had the worm removed and reported improved vision without the presence of shadows and fluctuating forms after two weeks of surgery. The animal was identified as an adult male L. loa parasitic worm and, according to Dr. Zayak, must have moved through the blood vessels until it reached the vitreous cavity still in larval form. In the eye, it then grew and developed.

Opting for surgical removal instead of worm-killing drugs was because the drugs could cause damage to the retina and macula. This could definitely affect vision, including causing blindness.

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