A resident of Shandong, Northeastern province of China, was suffering from eye pain in the left eye, accompanied by secretions and itching. At first, she imagined that it was a simple infection, until her son noticed something moving on her eyelashes. What the ophthalmologist discovered later on her eyelashes is amazing!
Through careful observation of the eye structure, the doctor discovered insects that move on the eyelid. In fact, she had lice that had even started to lay eggs. The ophthalmologist also found larvae of lice.
Fortunately there was more fear than harm, Ms. Zhang was cleared of lice and her eyes were sterilized. This kind of infection is an isolated case, but whose appearance marks the annals of medicine, such as the story of a man who had a tapeworm inside the eyes.
What is the cause for ciliary phthiriasis?
The ciliary phthiriasis is an infectious disease caused by inguinalis phtirius. This is a louse that develops at the hairy areas, also known as pediculosis inguinal, pubic louse or lice. This parasite has a size of about 2 millimeters, feeds on the blood of the host by biting eyelids; it lives and lays eggs on the eyelashes. The nits (larvae 0.8 mm) are found clinging to the eyelashes. The person then suffers from itching and visual difficulties, particularly because of papules (pimples) that develop.
Considered a venereal disease, is usually spread by direct route, after sex with an infected partner. It can also be an indirect way, via infected clothing or common bath places like swimming pools or steam rooms. That is why these insects are usually found in the pubic hair, armpits, chest, eyelashes, eyebrows and hair.
The first most effective way is prevention. It is essential to have an impeccable personal hygiene and to pay attention to the cleanliness of crowded places and clothes that are handled.
Lice live about a month and a half and lay a dozen eggs a day for three weeks. They begin to hatch after seven days, and the larvae become adult after a fortnight. The treatments are more effective when they are introduced in the first week of infection, in addition, they can be more complex.
It is possible to remove the nits and adult lice with suitable pliers during a biomicroscopy of the eye. In some cases, the eyelashes are completely cut off with a pair of scissors coated with mercury oxide.
The cure can also be done simply by using any type of eye ointment. In this case, you must apply enough on the lashes, in the morning and at night for three weeks. Consult your doctor.
For more complex cases, the patient undergoes a thorough dermatological examination, following a treatment with specific prescribed drugs.