Case Study: When "Pink Eye" Turns Out to be Something Very Different
Eye Care Hawaii occasionally will provide case studies that demonstrate the many positive results of effective eye care, as well as atypical cases. Below is a case that involves an unusual situation where supposed "pink eye" turned out to be something very different.
A 57-year-old male had three days of pain and redness in his left eye. He was treated by urgent care for bacterial conjunctivitis/pink eye and given antibiotics. An eye exam at Eye Care Hawaii showed reduced vision acuity, hazy cornea, and moderate inflammation. The patient was immediately treated with medicine to reduce eye pressure. Labs (bloodwork) were ordered to rule out infectious, autoimmune, and inflammatory possibilities. A follow-up exam and biomicroscopy, however, showed a moving nematode (worm) in the posterior chamber of the eye. A surgeon was consulted immediately for removal of the worm. An infectious disease consultant also was contacted for anti-parasitic medication. It was unclear where or how the worm entered the eye. After successful removal of the worm, the inflammatory decreased and the eye returned to "normal".
This case is a good example of not assuming that every red eye is "pink eye" and a good example of primary, secondary, and tertiary triage in the eye care setting.