An Indian man suffering from an irritated and itchy right eye was astonished when doctors found a five-inch-long worm living in his eye socket.
The man, 75-year-old PK Krishnamurthy from Mumbai, had suffered discomfort for some time – and had been given medication in the hope that the misdiagnosed eye condition would clear up.
But when Mr Krishnamurthy returned and complained that the condition was not improving, doctors decided to take a very close look.
After a detailed examination medics in Mumbai found the worm behind his eyeball – and the stowaway was removed during minor surgery yesterday.
Dr V Seetharaman, eye surgeon at Fortis Hospital in Mumbai, said: ‘Mr Krishnamurthy was lucky the worm was found in time.
He said: ‘His symptoms have now disappeared but it appears he was lucky the worm travelled only as far as his eye.
‘If it had not been removed it could have entered the patient’s brain and caused major neurological problems.’
It is still not clear how the worm entered Mr Krishnamurthy and ended up in his eye socket.
A relieved Mr Krishnamurthy said: ‘Doctors initially gave me some medicine but it did not work.’
Mumbai hospital medical director Dr S Narayani said: ‘The worm has been sent to a microbiology laboratory for further tests.
‘Such cases are not unknown but they are unusual for their rarity. Somehow the worm gets into the bloodstream and grows inside the human body.’