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Gardener's Itchy Eye Caused By Fly Larvae

House Fly & Glass Reflection Closeup

Photo: Getty Images

During allergy season, when you have an itchy eye, you automatically assume your allergies are acting up. One man in France found himself dealing with much more than pollen making his eyes itch, after doctors discovered over a dozen larvar living under his lids.

According to Ripley's, doctors at France's University Hospital of Saint-Etienne made an eye-opening discovery when a 53-year-old man showed up in their emergency room complaining that his right eye had been itching for hours since he felt something crawling inside it while gardening near a horse and sheep farm.

They were shocked to find more than a dozen translucent larvae squirming all over his conjunctiva and cornea, a diagnosis common enough to have an official name: external ophthalmomyiasis. The medical team went to work on physically removing the larvae, using forceps to grab them one by one.

The French gardner was gotten by a pregnant sheep bot fly, who she set her eyes on the unique birthing location for her new babies.

This fly species is known for spreading parasite infections in sheep populations worldwide. The larvar pose a significant threat to the cornea if not treated, as they have "oral hooks" and "body spicules" that can cause serious damage.

Thankfully, the gardener arrived earlt enough to prevent such damage and was seeing clearly as of his 10- day follow-up, where he reported that all symptoms had ceased after the removal.

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