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What are the Symptoms of Eye Parasites?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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There are a variety of different types of eye parasites that may infect a human host. Parasitic infections of the eye can sometimes be difficult to diagnose and treat, so symptoms should be reported to a doctor as soon as possible so that the process of testing can begin. Common symptoms of eye parasites include visual disturbances, light sensitivity, or a loss of some or all of the eyelashes. Eye redness may also occur.

Visual disturbances are common symptoms of eye parasites. These disturbances may include a partial or total loss of sight. This vision loss may be temporary or permanent, depending on the amount of scarring that occurs as the result of the parasitic infection.

Light sensitivity, also known as photophobia, may occur due to the presence of eye parasites. Patients who normally wear contact lenses may find that the eyes are more sensitive to light when not wearing the contacts. This sensitivity may be mild or so severe that the patient cannot handle being exposed to any light at all. Migraine headaches often begin to develop as the result of light sensitivity.

While eye parasites themselves cannot be seen with the naked eye, there are a few visible symptoms that should always be reported to a doctor for further evaluation. For instance, if the eyes suddenly begin to become crossed, especially if there are also other potential symptoms of parasites present, a person should make an immediate trip to the doctor.

The affected eye may become constantly reddened when a parasitic infection is present. In some cases, a small white ulcer may develop around the colored portion of the eye. All or some of the eyelashes may begin to fall out in some patients. White flakes may also develop on the top of the eyelashes.

In some cases, bacterial infections may develop as a result of damage done to the eye by the parasite. When this occurs, antibiotic therapy is often needed in order to prevent more serious complications. Medicated eye drops or oral antibiotics may be used alone or in combination with each other.

With early diagnosis and prompt medical attention, permanent eye damage may be avoided. Regular eye examinations will often allow the doctor to notice any developing changes before damage becomes severe or permanent. For this reason, any visual changes, especially in combination with any of the other potential symptoms of eye parasites, should be reported to a doctor right away for evaluation and treatment.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1000296 — On Aug 10, 2018

A couple of months ago, I was pulling some piece of metal out of the ground and it flung dirt right into my eye! Now I'm getting a watery eye right and waking up with my eye with mucous in it. I'm terrified that it's got a parasite in it! My eye isn't really red, it's just watering sometimes. Can it take this long to manifest? I don't have any visual disturbances or anything. Help! Could it be something else??

By anon336905 — On Jun 01, 2013

One day smoke got into my eyes and the next day it got a little blurrier. The next day I saw this white thing in my eyes. The next day, it stopped hurting. I thought my eye was damaged, but it seems like every time my eyes are watery it's like a light reflector always going into my eyes. Or, every time I look at the sun I see these circling bubbles. I see perfectly fine, but what could be the cause?

By yadi — On Apr 08, 2013

I've been seeing floaters in my eye. Sometimes they are circle shaped and other times it'll be like a long worm-like floater. I really don't know what it could be but my symptoms are like itching and every now and then burning from itching too much. Can anyone tell me what it could be?

By burcidi — On Jul 22, 2012

@ankara-- I don't think eye floaters are a symptom of eye parasites per se , but sometimes eye parasites can be confused to be floaters in the eye.

An eye parasite infection is not very common. It's often seen in warm third-world countries where certain insects can spread these worms that have the capability of living inside the eye. Many eye doctors in the US might not come across eye parasites during their career. If a patient were to say that they see things floating around in their eye, the doctor might be inclined to brush it off as being eye floaters. Or the patient might feel that way as well.

So if you constantly see eye floaters that have the same general shape and appearance every time, and if you have other symptoms of eye parasites, it's a good idea to see an eye doctor who can help you.

By bluedolphin — On Jul 21, 2012

Even though the thought of parasites possibly being in my eyes grosses me out, I am suspecting that this might be the case.

Thank God, I have not actually seen anything in my eye. The only symptoms I've had is eye floaters, dizziness and sometimes blackouts for a few seconds at a time. The dizziness and blackouts usually accompany each other. When I move quickly, bend or straighten quickly, I get dizzy and my eye sight is gone for like a moment. I just feel out of it afterward.

The eye floaters happen separately. When I'm watching TV or reading something, a fuzzy little thing will float across my eyes and then disappear.

I know that dizziness and blackouts are eye parasites symptoms. But what about eye floaters? Can that happen when there are parasites too?

By fify — On Jul 20, 2012

A friend of mine suffered from parasites in her eyes and she used to say that sometimes she can actually see them move across her eye! I'm not sure exactly what she meant by that but I guess sometimes these parasites can be large enough to be seen!

She also complained of pain right above her eye or sometimes sudden pain inside the eye for a short time. When she started to actually see the parasites, she rushed to the doctor and was put on anti-parasitic medication and antibiotic eye drops. Her symptoms went away after a couple of weeks.

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