A Chinese boy had to disinfect his eyelids after head lice were discovered in his eyelashes.
Stark footage shows the extent of the 3-year-old’s infection, which left his eyes ‘itchy’.
The toddler, from Zhengzhou, loved playing in the sand and often rubbed his eyes with dirty hands. However, doctors did not say whether this was to blame.
His itch was “immediately gone” after doctors successfully removed the lice.
He is also not thought to have passed on the lice.
Publishing skin-crawling images of the lice in a medical journal, doctors said they believe the case is “extremely rare.”
The 3-year-old from Zhengzhou in China’s Henan province contracted the serious infection after playing in the sand and rubbing his eyes with his dirty hands. But the unidentified boy’s problem was ‘immediately resolved’ after doctors successfully removed the lice
Publishing skin-crawling images of the lice in a medical journal, medics said they believe the case is “extremely rare.” On arrival at the hospital, his parents told doctors that he was suffering from itchy eyelashes in his right eye, which also produced “abnormal” and “visible” fluid for more than a week.
WHAT ARE HEAD LICE?
Head lice are small insects that live and lay their eggs in the hair. Their empty egg cases that stick to the hair are known as “nits.”
Lice, which can be treated with over-the-counter medications, multiply quickly and can cause itching and inflammation of the scalp.
In severe cases, infections can develop when children scratch their heads with dirty fingernails or when lice feces get into a scratch.
All people who come into contact with the infected person should also check if they have contracted the bug, as it spreads easily.
Clothes, bedding, and other products should be washed at high heat to kill the bugs.
If something can’t be washed, it should either be dry cleaned or sealed in a bag for two weeks to help kill the infestation.
On arrival at the hospital, his parents told doctors that he was suffering from itchy eyelashes in his right eye, which also produced “abnormal” and “visible” fluid for more than a week.
Doctors noticed that his upper eyelid was red and swollen. He had no known allergy history.
His grandmother had scraped the affected eyelid area with a coin, the boy’s parents also said.
But no other family members, including his parents or sister, had similar symptoms.
Medical tests showed that the boy’s eyesight was unaffected.
However, a slit-lamp examination, a common test to examine the structure of the eye, revealed translucent parasites slowly crawling along the eyelashes.
Write in the Case Reports from the American Journal of Ophthalmologydoctors said the child had been “diagnosed with head lice infestation of the eyelashes.”
The date of the incident was not revealed in the case report by doctors from Zhengzhou University’s First Affiliated Hospital.
Lice are small insects that live and lay their eggs in the hair, but are normally found on the scalp.
Their empty egg cases, which stick to the hair, are commonly known as “nits.”
They can multiply rapidly and cause widespread itching and inflammation of the scalp.
In severe cases, this can also cause infections, which are usually caused by scratching the head with dirty fingernails or when the lice’s faeces end up in a scratch.
However, infestations can be resolved with over-the-counter medications.
The NHS advises all people who come into contact with an infected person to check whether they have contracted the bugs themselves because they spread so easily.
Clothing, bedding, and other products exposed to lice should also be washed at high heat to kill the bugs.
Doctors said they first “carefully trimmed” the boy’s affected eyelashes to effectively remove the nits.
The boy’s eyelids were then disinfected with an iodine solution using cotton pads.
After the lice and nits were removed, his symptoms “completely disappeared immediately,” medics said.
Head lice are small insects that live and lay their eggs in the hair. Their empty egg cases sticking to the hair are known as ‘nits’
He was advised to apply a low-strength erythromycin ointment ? used to treat bacterial infections of the eye ? to suffocate any nits left behind.
Doctors also gave the boy eye drops to apply for two weeks before he returned for a follow-up exam.
According to medical experts, a head lice infestation of the eyelashes can easily be misdiagnosed as a common eye condition medically known as blepharitis.
While it’s usually not serious and can often be treated by washing your eyelids every day, it also causes swollen, itchy eyelids.
However, a misdiagnosis could prolong patients’ pain and even affect their eyesight, doctors said.
Physicians should “not only consider common inflammations and allergies, but also be alert to parasitic infections,” they warned when treating patients with itchy eyes and abnormal secretions.