Karnataka: Doctor removes 15 cm-long parasitic worm from man’s eye

Gone are the days of an eyelash or speck of dirt being the most nagging possibilities of things trying to make their way into your eyes. A 60-year-old man sought medical treatment for intense pain and itching in his eye only to find out he had a parasitic worm


  • A 60-year-old man in India had a 15-centimeter parasitic worm removed from his eye.
  • Doctors had to remove the worm while it was still alive, so it didn’t cause further damage to the man’s eye.
  • This type of worm is typically transmitted through mosquito bites, but is uncommon outside of tropical areas.

Stomach-churning video footage has captured the moment doctors removed a wriggling worm from a man’s eye. The unnamed patient, from India, complained of both pain and itching in his eyes and decided to seek medical help.

Amazed doctors spotted the parasite, which measured 15cm, squirming around in one of his eyeballs and pulled it out.

The patient sought help at New Medical Centre in Kundapur. It is unknown how the worm got into his eye.

The actual medical term for having a parasitic worm or its larvae in the eye is ocular filariasis. They are transmitted through mosquito bites.

Dr Srikanth Shetty noticed the parasitic worm in his eye and identified it as being from the Wuchereria Bancrofti species.

Dr Shetty warned the worm had the potential to permanently damage the man’s eyesight, if it was not removed immediately.

While speaking to My Medical Mantra, Dr Shrikanth Shetty, an ophthalmologist, attached to New Medical Centre, Kundapur said, “When we examined the patient, we found out a suspected movement in his eyes. It was a worm. We immediately decided to operate the patient and take out the worm. The worm was 15 centimetres long. It was a challenge to pull out the worm alive. As, if the worm would have died, it would have released a few antigens, owing to which the patient would have lost his eyesight.”

Dr Shetty further added, “After pulling out the worm, we started medication on the patient, and now he is absolutely fine. When we performed the tests, it was confirmed that it was Wuchereria Bancrofti worm. Generally, these kinds of worms spread through the mosquito bite in the body. But, to find one in the eyes is a very rare occurrence.”

Dr Gautam Bhansali, General Physician attached to Mumbai’s Bombay Hospital said, “This is a very rare case, where the worm has been pulled through the patient’s eyes. Wuchereria Bancrofti worm is generally found in the foot, which results in the swollen leg. We treat the patient by giving anti-parasite medicines or if required through surgery we treat the patient.”