A 12 cm-long worm was removed Saturday from the left eye of a 60-year-old woman at a private hospital in Kochi, a city in the southern Indian state of Kerala. She had been admitted for treatment of liver problems.
When she reported a sudden pain in the eye, doctors examined the woman and noted a moving worm in her left eye. The worm was immediately removed after administering local anaesthesia.
"The sub-conjunctival appearance of the long worm is through blood vessels in the eye,"doctors said.
The worm taken from the 37-year-old patient's eye belonged to the Ascaris family, a common intestinal parasite in pigs that is also found in humans.
The parasite had probably travelled through the patient's blood from the digestive tract into the eye socket, doctors at the clinic had said.
Still earlier the Indian Journal of Ophthalmology reported of the removal of a worm, again from the eye of a woman. She was aged 58 years and had presented herself at an eye camp in South Gujarat with complaints of redness, itching, watering and pain in the left eye for 2 months.
On ophthalmologic examination, a white thread-like worm appeared to be moving under a swelling in the left eye. Under anaesthesia, the live worm was pulled out. The woman was suffering from filariasis, a tropical infectious disease caused by worms.
Filariasis is a disease caused by worms in the blood or tissues of the body causing blockage of lymphatic vessels. When those vessels are blocked, edema results, a swelling usually occurring in the feet, ankles and legs.
79 million people worldwide are affected by the disease and it has a widespread distribution in Asia, Africa and Latin America (WHO), said the journal. Filarial and filarial-like nematodes top the list of the nematodes (a type of worms) that affect the eye.
Millions of persons are infected with onchocerciasis ( river blindness) caused by filarial worms. As many as eleven countries are located in the Onchocerciasis Control Programme Zone in West Africa.