Doctors Find Live Worm in Patient’s Eye – Facts Analysis

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Doctors Find Live Worm in Patient's Eye


Email forwards showing pictures of live worm in a patient’s eye, claiming it a result of bad dust and excessive rubbing of eyes.

Subject: Fwd: Careful with dust!!!

Its just like from an alien movie be very careful when u get caught with dust…as following pics will show effects of bad dust to a person.
While he was walking he felt an eye irritation, thinking that it was just regular dust, he started to rub his eye, in an effort to remove the dust…. then his eyes got really red, and he went and bought some eye drops from a pharmacy….few days passed n his eyes were still red and seems a little swollen.
Again he dismissed it as the constant rubbing and that it will go away. The days go by the swelling of his eye got worse, redder and bigger…. till he decided to go and see a doctor for a check up.
The doctor immediately wanted an operation, being afraid of a tumor growth or cyst. At the operation, what was thought to be a growth or cyst, actually turned out to be a live worm in eye….. what was thought initially to be just mere dust actually was an insect’s egg……because of that, my friends, if u do get caught in dust, and the pain persists, pls go see a doctor immediately…… thank you….


The pictures shown in the message are genuine, but the story that comes with it is fabricated. The pictures are taken from an article titled ‘Anterior Orbital Myiasis caused by Human Botfly’, from the Archives of Ophthalmology of the Journal of American Medical Association. The description of the picture is quoted as:

A 5-YEAR-OLD boy with inferior orbital swelling and an erythematous mass arising from the inferior cul-de-sac of his right eye was seen by an Air Force Mobile Ophthalmic Surgical Team working in a rural area of the Republic of Honduras. The respiratory pore of a late-stage larva of the human botfly (Dermatobia hominis) was located in the anterior orbit. The larva was gently removed under general anesthesia through a small incision in the conjunctiva.

Human botflies (Dermatobia hominis) do exist. They lays eggs on the bodies of other insects like mosquitoes, which can be later transfered to other animal or human hosts as a result of direct contact. When the botfly eggs hatch, the larva grows into the host’s skin and begins feeding itself. But neither dust nor rubbing of eyes can lead to Myiasis, the fly larva infestation of a living body. Moreover, this is a rare phenomenon. Human botflies are mainly found in Central and South America. But, like shown in the picture, no such cases of orbital invasion have been reported earlier. And bad dust or excessive rubbing of eyes were never cited as the reasons in this case as well.

Therefore, the message that only bad dust or excessive rubbing of eyes can develop larva and live worm in human eyes is a hoax. But yes, one should not neglect any persistent swelling or itching in eyes, and must see a doctor at the earliest.

Hoax or Fact:

Mixture of hoax and facts.


Human botfly
Case of Myiasis
Anterior Orbital Myiasis caused by Human Botfly

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Prashanth Damarla