A 34-year-old man presented to the ophthalmology clinic and reported having the sensation of a foreign body and itching in his right eye. He had no known medical history, and he lived on a farm with his dog. Examination with slit-lamp microscopy showed two live worms beneath the upper eyelid. A topical anesthetic was administered, and the worms were removed with the use of a fine forcep.
The worms were sent to the university parasitology laboratory for examination and were identified as Thelazia callipaeda. A diagnosis of ocular thelaziasis was made. T. callipaeda, a parasitic worm that is carried and transmitted by drosophilid flies, feeds on eye secretions and deposits larvae in the eyes of the definitive host, typically a dog but occasionally a human. At follow-up 1 month after the worms had been removed, the pruritus had resolved and the patient no longer had the sensation of a foreign body in his eye. He has not reported recurrence.
Zijing Huang, M.D.
Weiqi Chen, M.D.
Joint Shantou International Eye Center, Shantou, China