Doctors pull 14 worms out of woman's eye

Thelazia gulosa in situ on the surface of a patient’s conjunctiva

Abby Beckley, a 28-years-old from Grants Pass, Oregon, lived the shock of her life when, one day, she pulled a translucent worm out of her eye.

A 26 year-old woman in OR is going down in the medical history books after more than a dozen worms were pulled from her eye, some of which were nearly a half-inch long. "I stared at it and it was alive".

The parasitic infection is seen in cattle and spread by flies.

The Portland Tribune reports in the span of a few weeks, Beckley pulled 14 of the tiny worms from her left eye. It happened in August, 2016 but was just reported by scientists this week. Female "face flies" usually feed on the secretions of the eyes.

The doctors believe she may have contracted the worms while practising horseback riding in a region of OR where cattle farming is common.

Eye worms are seen in several kinds of animals, including cats and dogs.

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"I am the first, the very first case of this type of type, this species of worm in a human eye", Beckley said.

Thankfully, it's pretty easy to get rid of these eye worms, since they stay on the surface of the eye and the conjunctiva, but that doesn't mean the worms aren't unsafe.

Thelazia worms are spread by species of flies that look pretty much like your typical house fly.

Most infections do clear up with no lingering consequences once they're removed, but sometimes the worms can scuttle across the cornea, causing scarring and even blindness.

According to Richard Bradbury, the lead author, this was the 11 time someone was infected with eye worms in the United States.

"My hope is that if this ever happens again, that someone could Google this and find all these articles now", said Beckley.

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