Doctors horrified to learn the cause of this man’s itchy eyes

The man was reportedly gardening close to a sheep and horse farm when he felt something enter his eye.

Doctors at a hospital in France were shocked to find out what was causing a patient’s itchy eye. The man had gone to the hospital complaining of an itchy eye that had persisted for several hours.

Dozens of squirming larvae

According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, the 53-year-old said he had been gardening close to a horse and sheep farm when he felt something enter his eye. Doctors at the hospital in the French city of Saint-Étienne run an eye exam on the affected eye and were shocked to find ‘more than a dozen mobile, translucent larvae’ around the cornea of his eye.

Some of the offensive bugs were found squirming inside his conjunctiva, the thin membrane that lines the eyelid. Upon close examination, the doctors determined that the creatures were sheep bot flies, scientifically known as Oestrus ovis.

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Sheep bot fly. Getty/ Juan Francisco Moreno Gamez

Hooked to the cornea

As if the discovery was not bad enough, they had to use a pair of forceps to remove the creatures from the cornea. This is because they used their ‘oral hooks’ to cling on to the cornea and the only way to prevent abrasions and potential damage to the eye was to pluck them out.

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They managed to remove every single one of the bugs from his eye and at his follow-up appointment 10 days later, he had fully recovered.

Sheep bot flies are known to cause parasitic infestations among sheep, and and it would appear that one may have deposited the larvae in the man’s eye.

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