Sometimes eye care involves the most bizarre of cases. These more bizarre cases include infestation of parasites and worms within the human eye. Some cases of these parasites are truly atypical for humans, while others are much more common than most people would like. Either way, you would definitely want to know that your eyes are host to some terrifying parasites, and that your eye doctor knows enough to identify, kill, eradicate, and remove all of the following.
A very recent news story aired that had millions of people squirming in their seats and gagging at the thought. A Colorado woman pulled more than a dozen wriggly translucent worms from her eye. After pulling them out, she took them to a doctor who realized that these were cattle fly larvae.
Usually, the pests only invade the eyes of cattle, causing painful infections before emerging as young flies from the cattle's eyelids. In humans, the adult fly lays its eggs inside the tear ducts and flies off. A human host experiences something akin to a sty or eyelash infection, and then pokes around to find the worms wiggling out.
Tapeworms, specifically pork tapeworms, like to hang around your digestive tract. However, infestations of tapeworms heading to your brain is not unheard of. These nasty parasites burrow through your brain once they get there, and then damage nerves and infest your eyeballs and sinus cavities while they are at it.
Thankfully, if caught early, there is medication that can kill them. If they embed themselves in your eyes, there is nothing that can be done except take the medicine that kills them. You will have to live the rest of your life with the buggers in your eyeballs. This may cause problems in your field of vision, but if you kill them, you will still be able to see. If you fail to catch them early and kill them, you could go blind.
Loa Loa Worms
Just when you thought that you would love to visit Africa, stories of worms in eyes come to light. These nasty parasites are deposited by the bites of deer and mango flies, and are usually contracted when you go tripping through African rain forests and swamps. What the worms do there is just swim around in the vitreous humor of your eyeballs, having a jolly good time.
If you have a ton of them and try to kill them with medication, they will cause encephalopathy (i.e., deadly brain fevers and swelling) and block capillaries to your eyes and brain. Ergo, it is most urgent that if you go to Africa and come home that you see your eye doctor within six months of your visit. It may take years for these pests to appear in your eyeballs, but they could migrate faster. Treating the problem before the worms make it to your eyes and brain is an excellent idea.
Trichanella Spiralis (Parasitic Roundworms)
In an episode of House, Dr. House is presented with a case of an autistic child that is having some major issues with his vision. House eventually figures out what has happened. The nonverbal autistic child was playing in the sandbox and came across raccoon feces. The raccoon feces was heavy-laden with parasitic roundworms. Because the boy did not wash his hands prior to playing with the feces and then consuming a meal, he contracted the roundworms via the eggs he swallowed from picking up the feces. The roundworms traveled through the bloodstream into the boy's eyes, resulting in the many behaviors exhibited.
While it is not likely that you will ever touch infected feces with your bare hands, that does not mean you will not make the same mistake by not washing your hands after digging in dirt. If you see a lot of wiggly waves in your field of vision, you too, could have worms in your eyes. An eye doctor can see this with a special scope, so go have your eyes checked at a center like Master Eye Associates.