Doctors were shocked when they discovered the cause of the persistent eye pain suffered by an elderly Indian man was a live 13 cm long intestinal worm.
Doctors in Mumbai described the case of 75-year-old P.K. Krishnamurthy as "extremely unusual" the BBC reported.
Dr V. Seetharaman, an eye specialist at Mumbai's Fotis Hospital explained that Mr. Krishnamurthy had suffered eye irritation for two weeks before the parasite was discovered under a microscopic examination. He said the 13 cm worm was "wriggling there under the conjunctiva. It was the first time in my career of 30 years that I had seen such a case."
Mr Krishnamurthy said “I was shocked when the doctor told me that there was a live worm in my right eye and that I needed to undergo a surgery" Health India reported.
The live worm was removed through a small incision in the conjunctiva during a 15-minute operation. Mr Kirshnamurthy's wife Saraswati was present during the operation. Nahranet reported she said "It just kept moving and jumping; it was scary for a bit." The worm remained alive for 30 minutes after it was surgically removed.
Dr. Seetharaman speculated that the worm may have entered the patient's bloodstream through a cut or improperly cooked food, and then travelled to the eye. It could have caused a toxic reaction if it died in the man's eye or neurological damage if it had travelled to the brain.