The Grapevine

Can Insects Grow Inside The Human Body? Bees In Woman’s Eye Shock Doctors

Can insects thrive inside the human body like parasites? The answer is yes for a patient in Taiwan who suffered an eye infection due to four bees living in her eye.

What made her condition worse was that the insects learned to feed on her tears, according to Taiwanese news channel CTS. The 29-year-old woman, identified as He, initially reported severe pain in her eye.

Doctors at Fooyin University Hospital said the bees were feeding on her tear ducts under her swollen eyelids. The insects were identified as sweat bees. 

Hung Chi-ting, head of ophthalmology at Fooyin, said such species commonly build their nests near graves and in fallen trees. The bees potentially went to He’s eyes through sand or dirt. 

"I was visiting and tidying a relative's grave with my family. I was squatting down and pulling out weeds," the patient said during a news conference. 

Huang explained that sweat bees are attracted to the perspiration of humans, Insider reported Tuesday.

"I saw something that looked like insect legs, so I pulled them out under a microscope slowly, and one at a time without damaging their bodies," Hung said. 

Doctors warned that rubbing the affected eyes excessively could cause more damage, particularly in the inflamed cornea. The infection could lead to blindness.

Luckily, He took care of her eyes prior to seeking medical attention at Fooyin University Hospital .

The Missouri Department of Conservation said sweat bees are not aggressive, but they tend to land on humans to obtain moisture and salts from their sweat.

What To Do With Foreign Body In The Eye?

A foreign body can be a speck of dust, a wood chip, a metal shaving, a piece of glass or an insect. It could cause infection and scarring, corneal scratches, a defect on the surface of your eye, permanent visual impairment or blindness, according to BetterHealth

Symptoms of foreign bodies in eyes include scratchy feeling when blinking, sharp pain in the eye, burning and irritation, watery and red eye, blurred vision and sensitivity to bright lights.

If you or someone near shows one or a combination of the symptoms, seek medical attention to avoid further harm.