Fourteen tiny worms were removed from the left eye of Abby Beckley in August 2016.
Doctor tried tweezer-like forceps as well as irrigating the infected eye to remove the worms, but only managed to remove a portion of one worm.
Beckley first reported sensing an irritant in her left eye.
The doctors believe she may have contracted the worms while practising horseback riding in a region of OR where cattle farming is common.
"Dr Bonura was so willing to just talk with me and was really empathetic to what I was going through as the person who had this thing in her eye". She visited doctors, but removed most of the additional worms herself during the following few weeks.
Over a 20-day period, 14 worms less than 13 millimetres (half an inch) in length had to be removed from her conjunctiva and the surface of her eyeball.
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According to the Centers for Disease Control, humans become incidental hosts of the Thelazia gulosa (the cattle eyeworm) when the insect intermediate host feeds on the humans' tears. Beckley's ordeal is also only the 11th recorded case of any Thelazia infection, or thelaziasis, to have occurred in the United States, and the first to be seen outside California or Utah.
Eye worms are found in several kinds of animals, including cats, dogs and foxes. They are transmitted by different types of flies.
It's a cattle worm and somehow, Beckley ended up with it inside her eye. The larva mature for a bit in the fly's gut, then migrate to the fly's mouth, where they're spit back out into some other animal's unsuspecting ocular orifice and can begin the cycle of life anew. Yum!
"This patient's outdoor pastimes of riding horses and fishing during the summer months likely allowed exposure to vector face flies, and she may have delayed brushing away of these flies from her face", the authors wrote. According to researchers, they now want to find out more about these new species that can apparently also infect people. Thankfully, Beckley is no worse for the wear.