A 49-year-old woman was nearly blinded after a piece of glitter from a Christmas card worked its way up into her eyeball, a case study in the British Medical Journal notes.
The woman suffered a reddened eye, loss of vision and swollen eyelid following the incident. Doctors initially felt that the woman had a herpes infection but they found the glitter particles in her eye after a lesion in her cornea was examined, the BBC reported, citing the case study.
Doctors in the ophthalmology department of Swansea's Singleton Hospital, where she was treated, said that the glitter particles formed into a clump, causing a lesion.
The woman reportedly told her doctor that she remembered getting the glitter in her eye when she rubbed off a Christmas card. It was not however, clear if the incident happened this festive season or sometime in the past. The identity of the patient was also not known.
Meanwhile, the report adds that the doctors mimicked the symptoms of a herpes infection based on their initial diagnosis but later removed the glitter from the woman's eye to rid her of the discomfort.
The BMJ report also notes that they advise doctors to always ask their patients about the cause of a possible eye trauma, even if the symptoms may indicate a common infection. "The lesion may have been easily misdiagnosed as a herpetic simplex infection by non-specialists for which treatment would have been topical antiviral ointment instead of removal and antibiotics," the journal report notes.
What is an eye lesion?
Lesions are generally any abnormal change that happens in any tissue or organ in a human body due to disease or injury. Eye lesions represent loss of integrity of certain eye structures and their layers, which can sometimes be fatal or lead to vision loss.
Certain lesions may be caused by exposure to harmful UVA and UVB sun rays, while some others — like in the case of this woman — could be due to exposure to a pathogen.
Most lesions cause surface irritation, resulting in constant redness and discomfort in the eye. According to Steady Health website, most types of lesions can be brought under control with antibiotics or some eye drops or creams, warm compresses and surgery.