The eyes have it
September 6, 2019 7:53 PM   Subscribe

Opthalmologist and self-described comedian Dr. Glaucomflecken on Twitter: "Let’s learn about eye infestations. If you don’t want to hear about Loa Loa or what happens when Botfly larvae get into your retina, now is the time to mute this thread. Everything from here on out will be horrifying" [CW for close-ups of eye-related medical procedures and infestations]. Thread reader version here.
posted by mandolin conspiracy (32 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
The link starts half way through the thread. Here's the start.
posted by zamboni at 7:58 PM on September 6, 2019

Yep, my bad. I mentioned that to the mods via the contact form. I imagine an edit is imminent.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:01 PM on September 6, 2019

As pleased as I am by the broad variety and diversity on MetaFilter lately, I will have to leave this entire post in the fine hands of those who find this kind of stuff great. Enjoy the variety of the posts!
posted by hippybear at 8:02 PM on September 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

Mod note: fixed link
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 8:05 PM on September 6, 2019 [2 favorites]

[fixed link]
posted by Eyebrows McGee

Eye-ponysterical. Thanks!
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:06 PM on September 6, 2019 [8 favorites]

Ophthalmologists have ZERO pleasant stories about "interesting" cases. Everything that can happen to an eyeball is horrible. Just, body horror all the way down, no exceptions. Do not sit by ophthalmologists at Thanksgiving dinner! If you do, don't ask them what's been up at work lately! And if they say "ruptured globe" don't ask if it means what you think it means! Learn from my errors
posted by potrzebie at 9:52 PM on September 6, 2019 [21 favorites]


*nopes out*
posted by myotahapea at 10:04 PM on September 6, 2019

[fixed link]

Did you, though?
posted by not_on_display at 10:07 PM on September 6, 2019 [11 favorites]

I regret being given the gift of sight.
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 10:31 PM on September 6, 2019 [1 favorite]

Incidentally, Ruptured Globe is the name of my new band. We play world music with a climate-change a fair bit about botflies.
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:26 PM on September 6, 2019 [4 favorites]

"1 user marked this as a favourite"

posted by Merus at 11:56 PM on September 6, 2019 [10 favorites]

In the Loa Loa section: "Years of eye worm related psychiatric care."

I should stop reading Metafilter before bedtime.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:20 AM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

Bragging time: I've read the thread while eating fried eggs on toast. My only regret is that they were not sunny side up because that'd take the associations to 11.
posted by hat_eater at 3:41 AM on September 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

* backing out *


*door slams in distance, silence *
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:50 AM on September 7, 2019 [10 favorites]

Last year around Halloween Mefi’s own Adam Savage had a guest on his podcast who talked about disease vectors, snakes, and a long sideroad into eyeball stuff. I can’t really handle pictures of physical trauma/infestation, but for some reason hearing people talk about it doesn’t bother me much.
If you dig this kind of thing, enjoy.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 5:41 AM on September 7, 2019

The worst thing that's happened to my eye was the tick on my inner eyelid.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:09 AM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

The name Loa loa (Nb no caps on specific epithets) is itself a bit of an off-color joke: Loa are Voodoo spirits that can be called down to ‘ride’ a priest as a form of possession.

Presumably you can tell when the spirit has arrived by the coruscating eyes.
posted by SaltySalticid at 6:37 AM on September 7, 2019

The worst thing... Chickenpox on my cornea.
posted by carsonb at 6:54 AM on September 7, 2019

The film of Spalding Gray's Gray's Anatomy starts with interviews of various people describing their eyeball horror stories.
posted by HeroZero at 7:04 AM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

An art class at a small university, 1976. The professor tells the class that they will be viewing a film made by Luis Bunuel, Le Chien Andalou. Not one student has heard of it. He cautions mildly that there will be surreal horror.

Then this scene unspools, and the student reactions are dramatic. There are moans, screams, and people actually fleeing the room. (WARNING: Do not look at or even think about this famous scene if you are the least bothered by eye horror. I can’t bring myself to even describe it.)

Afterward the professor laughs, saying “that gets ‘em every time. Nobody likes stuff happening to eyes.”
posted by kinnakeet at 7:15 AM on September 7, 2019

That was really fascinating.
posted by PussKillian at 7:24 AM on September 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

That shot in Le Chien Andalou is gross, but it has nothing on the body horror of real, infectious eye disease. I'm using myself as the barometer on this. I can handle Bunuel, but not Loa Loa.

I like spiders, and I get annoyed when posts about them are full of comments like "HELL NO" but now I get it. But! In the spirit of sharing, this is a fascinating post and this kind of stuff is very interesting, aside from the visceral, almost existential horror I feel upon confronting it.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 7:49 AM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

If there is one universal "patient" truth in medicine that I have learned over the last twelve years, it is this:

Never, ever, ever be interesting. The Venn diagram overlap between "interesting" and "horrifying" is upwards of 90%.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:53 AM on September 7, 2019 [5 favorites]

I got my cataracts out in March. I had been pretty terrified, but I was knocked out and remember nothing.

It used to be that you were fully conscious for this. The idea of it still makes me want to vomit.

Eye stuff is gross.
posted by MissySedai at 8:16 AM on September 7, 2019

Thanks for this post! My squeamish tolerance is pretty high for things in a science and medical context (not in a horror context, however. Got a lot of hangups there) and this was really interesting. I'm studying public health and just this past week I was able to look through the microscope with both eyes for the first time! Micro stuff is super cool, but when you can see it with depth? astonishing.
posted by FirstMateKate at 8:22 AM on September 7, 2019

I've worked in the medical field (human and veterinary) for almost all my adult life. I find medical stuff fascinating. You couldn't pay me to click on any of these links (although the comments here are awesome).

I did famously once come home from work at the veterinary hospital and tell my beloved husband about the "really cool surgery" we did at work (an eye enucleation), at which point my husband squealed like a 10 year old girl and said "For future reference, please just say the kitty had an owwy and we made it better".

(my first surgical nursing stint was on an ophthalmic surgery floor, you haven't lived 'til you've tried putting eye drops into someone's bloodshot, weeping eye while your own eyes are watering and squinting sympathetically so much you can't even see)
posted by biscotti at 8:41 AM on September 7, 2019 [11 favorites]

It's the shingles on the optic nerve that has me nervous
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 6:51 PM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

I read out the first tweet very happily and both my one roommate and partner wheeled on me during the "if you don't want to hear this, mute this thread" bit and yelled that they were MUTING ME FOREVER. Fortunately, then my other roommate home and, upon having the first tweet read out--"DID WE NOT SAY WE WERE MUTING YOU"--demanded to have it to look at her own damned self.

So I'm finally rolling around in this tonight and eeeeeee.
posted by sciatrix at 7:25 PM on September 7, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by thelonius at 8:14 PM on September 7, 2019 [2 favorites]

This is fascinating and written in a breezy, if callous, style;

"The last photo shows classic tracks from botfly larvae which have found their way into the retina and clearly have no idea where the fuck they’re going."

Also, everyone who's had laser eye surgery remembers staring at the coloured dots as their nostrils start filling up with the smell of their own burning cornea.

Interesting that intra-occular helminthic infections can be treated by laser now; I'm surprised that it's fine enough that it doesn't fry the retina beyond the target.

NOT surprised that residue from lasered worms causes a huge immune response. I suspect that target backdrop tissue damage would really exacerbate that.
posted by porpoise at 11:18 PM on September 7, 2019

* peeks back in with two anecdotes *

1. I have a movie blog reviewing all the "1001 Movies To See Before You Die" movies. Un Chien Andalou is on that list. I'd sworn to myself I'd never see it, but had to for completion's sake. I got myself through it okay, especially since the....scene is right at the beginning.

2. When I was running a playwriting contest, one of our finalists one year was about a self-important ophthalmologist who was trying to come up with a new eye treatment or something. But about midway through the second act there's a monologue from one of his patients where she talks about the extreme problems she's had with her eyes, and she talks about things like eyelashes growing on her inner eyelid that she regularly has to tweeze, having to lay medicated strings of plastic against her cornea to treat whatever she's got, things like this.

The finalists all got staged readings in the rehearsal space where our offices were; I usually sat in the back so I could gauge the reactions of the crowd as well when considering how a play was received. And - I had read this particular play but somehow that monologue didn't affect me. But hearing it spoken suddenly hit me, and it was a good thing I was in the back because I started flailing like I was trying to drive off bats.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:25 AM on September 8, 2019 [1 favorite]

The worst thing that's happened to my eye was the tick on my inner eyelid.

A tick, you say? It could have been worse:

“Doc, I Think I Have Something in My Eye”
posted by zakur at 12:20 PM on September 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

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