You don't want to know what was in her eye
February 16, 2018 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Abby Beckley had been living on an inactive cattle ranch when she began to have the sensation that something was in her eye. "You know how it feels when you have an eyelash in your eye?" she asked. "That's exactly how it felt, but when I looked in the mirror, I couldn't see anything...I finally couldn't take it any[more]," she said.

"I went to the mirror and decided I'm going to pull out whatever was in my eye, even if I have to rip part of my eye out."

She pulled down her eyelid and grabbed a clear, threadlike material from underneath her eyeball. Then she looked down at the thread:

"It was squiggling around on my finger," Beckley said. "I thought, 'This is nuts! A worm just came out of my eye.' "
posted by stillmoving (47 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought you told me that I don't want to know.
posted by No Robots at 7:41 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


Ha ha ha, nice try but I am not clicking on any of those links.

I'll favorite it, though.
posted by tommasz at 7:41 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


posted by stillmoving

The FPP is coming from inside the eyeball.
posted by phunniemee at 7:44 AM on February 16 [59 favorites]


* starts backing out of thread *

NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE

* door slams in distance, silence *
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:46 AM on February 16 [40 favorites]


They're clear so you can see through them.
posted by Capt. Renault at 7:46 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


hey everybody post yr fave nope gifs
posted by phunniemee at 7:47 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


Classic nope.
posted by adamg at 7:49 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


It's fairly unheard of to have worms in your eye in the U.S, unless you've traveled to a developing country.

I've got some bad news for you and the direction you're heading U.S. in 2018.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:50 AM on February 16 [27 favorites]


Basically, male and female worms live on the surface of a cow's eye. They mate and produce tiny larvae. "It's very romantic," Bradbury says. "They create all these baby worms."

It’s very romantic. They create all these what the fuck is wrong with you.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:50 AM on February 16 [143 favorites]


Actually quite interesting, and no photos of anything triggering. The worms weren't inside the eye, just floating around on top.
posted by pipeski at 7:53 AM on February 16 [4 favorites]


NOPE
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:53 AM on February 16


Can I have more links to click?
posted by oneironaut at 7:54 AM on February 16




There are no close ups of an eye if that's what people are worried about. I'm squeamish about eyes and I didn't find the story disturbing at all. It probably helps that I live in the city and have no access to cows so the chances this will happen to me is probably zero.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 8:05 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


god, please, no
posted by entropone at 8:13 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


There are no close ups of an eye if that's what people are worried about. I'm squeamish about eyes and I didn't find the story disturbing at all.

Simply reading "and a worm came out of her eye!" was enough for me (and thanks to the mods for moving that behind the fold).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:15 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


oneironaut, here you go!

Wikipedia article on genus of worms colonizing her eye (shows some worm photos but none in eyeballs).

American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene paper where case report was published (free PDF download of article from site). No pictures, but does include helpful key to differentiating morphologic features of different Thelazia species, including comparison of vulval length and size of anal protrusion.

Here's a bit about another Thelazia species that was thought to be the culprit in Beckley's case. (WARNING: PHOTO OF WORMS IN INFECTED EYE!)

And here's some information from the WHO about Onchocerca volvulus, the nematodes that cause about 37 million infections of riverblindness (onchocerciasis) and nodding sickness worldwide per annum. Treatment is with vector control and ivermectin (known in the US for prevention of heartworms in dogs) and a lot of the funding comes from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The International Agency or the Prevention of Blindness apparently also does some work on abating infections, it looks like they are a registered UK charity and accept donations if you are so inclined. (NB: I have not vetted them, but a cursory Google makes them seem like a reputable org).
posted by stillmoving at 8:16 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


And nota bene for anyone interested in googling any members of this genus: if your internet works the same as mine, you may see many gruesome pictures of worms in eyes, especially via veterinary medicine sites, so please google with caution!
posted by stillmoving at 8:17 AM on February 16


This is why I had to finally give up spaghetti with eyeballs and pink sauce.
posted by bigbigdog at 8:23 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]


You were right, I didn't want to know. It turns out i didn't want to open the thread either. And I'm not sure I even wanted to use the word thread either.
posted by biffa at 8:28 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


Thanks! I hate it!
posted by JDHarper at 8:45 AM on February 16 [11 favorites]


This is a horrible post and you should be proud of yourself.
posted by loquacious at 8:48 AM on February 16 [27 favorites]


Maybe this doesn't upset me because I've been culturing nematodes in porridge this week.
posted by pipeski at 9:26 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]


Takeaway points for people who want warnings but don't want to read:

1) It's spread by flies, not by contact with infected animals. The flies that can spread this, do not bite; they feed on tears. (And they're a lot less interested in humans than animals.)

2) It seems more like a nuisance and an ick than a danger, at least for people who have access to medical care. They're treated with removal and (specific) eyedrops. They can cause damage in animals because animals are less likely to get treatment.

3) It's really, really rare in humans. Really rare. Like, several hundred reported cases, worldwide, ever.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:31 AM on February 16 [7 favorites]


I am really enjoying this thread and just wanted to say that. It makes for a nice Friday. For certain values of "nice".
posted by theatro at 9:32 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


I'm impressed at how the story just keeps building the tension and horror.
Towards the end:
"The fly vomited the worms into her eye."
posted by doctornemo at 9:35 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


NOPE
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:41 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


phunniemee, I can't believe I've never seen Obi-Wan Kenopebi before!
posted by tzikeh at 9:52 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Came for the nopes, left 11/28ths satisfied.
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:57 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


My parents were very poor. We lived in subsidized government housing. No way could I have gone away to summer camp. A neighbor became ill and I got to go to camp for a week.
There was a day where we had to perform in some manner at a county fair like deal. My friends branded me as Mr. Dictionary and people would come to our table and ask me the definition of a word. I was nine years old and had a superior vocabulary. All day no one stumped me including some parents and teachers.
One guy failed a couple of times and came back with the word

'Onchocerciasis'

I of course failed. But his reaction to besting a nine year old was an image I have retained for 71 years. To top it off I only discovered after the fact he was mispronouncing the word. I have not held adults in very high esteem ever since.

Oh. It's a disease that can cause blindness.
posted by notreally at 10:13 AM on February 16 [18 favorites]


I saw the headlines about this during the week and didn't read any of the stories but then they had an interview with her on the radio and then a chat with a parasitologist at the CDC and they were both pretty interesting. I think this is the kind of story that is much better on radio because you don't have to see any pictures or video.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 10:26 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Where are the photos? So disappointed.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:34 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Preferred nope-topus.
posted by hanov3r at 11:18 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Oh hell no.
posted by Splunge at 11:42 AM on February 16


NOPE
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 11:45 AM on February 16


I want to know whether she was on an anti-inflammatory.
posted by jamjam at 11:49 AM on February 16


SEE YOU SPACE COWBOY
posted by Aleyn at 12:27 PM on February 16 [3 favorites]


The flies that can spread this, do not bite; they feed on tears.

The flies that can spread this, they are the most goth of all the flies.
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:42 PM on February 16 [9 favorites]


The flies that can spread this, do not bite; they feed on tears.

Sounds like the Vulcans have the right idea.

Also, Leslie Nope.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:38 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


“they feed on tears“

Lemme guess? “Librul” ones? Ugh, Alt-right flies are the worst.
posted by greermahoney at 2:16 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


This is why I pour bleach in my eyes every morning.
posted by misterpatrick at 2:55 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Anyone whose kids have needed de-worming will have seen much worse than this.... "Daddy, why are there little wriggly things coming out of my butt?"

Memories...
posted by pipeski at 3:03 PM on February 16


Returning from a holiday in rural Thailand many years ago I felt an unusual and rather persistent itch in my right foot. Scratching gave no relief so I went to my local clinic (Stockholm) who referred me to a hospital. The doctor discovered a worm in my foot which delighted the people at the school of tropical medicine who gathered in droves to examine said foot. Disregarding suggestions by students that it should be removed by surgery, I was given a chalky salve to apply daily to the itchy part - it shifted slightly during that week - and finally abated.
Recounting the incident later often resulted in horrified reactions.
Odd really. I mean, it was just an itchy foot.
posted by jan murray at 4:04 PM on February 16


Cattle ranch, something in her eye... no I won't click on that or even read the comments. I can see where this is going.
posted by ambulocetus at 5:44 PM on February 16


The Yip Yip aliens say NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE!


I've got some bad news for you and the direction you're heading U.S. in 2018.

It's started already...

I usually don't worry about any kind of zoonoses from horses, but a couple years ago this one shook me a bit.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:58 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


Disregarding suggestions by students that it should be removed by surgery, I was given a chalky salve to apply daily to the itchy part

Students were right. Remove foot. Only way to be sure.
posted by um at 8:13 PM on February 18


Anyone whose kids have needed de-worming will have seen much worse than this.... "Daddy, why are there little wriggly things coming out of my butt?"

Your butt is supposed to have gross things coming out of it.

Your eyes are not.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:47 AM on February 19 [2 favorites]


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