Woman thinks she has Herpes but it turns out to be Glitter


When an unnamed 49 year old British woman visited Singleton hospital in Swansea suffering from a swollen eyelid and painfully sore red-eye an ophthalmologist investigated and discovered she had a nasty lesion on her right eye. The doctor suspected that the injury was a result of an infection by the herpes simplex virus.

Herpes is widespread and annually leads to over 40,000 cases of visual impairment or blindness.



But when doctors examined the eye further they saw a small sparkle shine back at them which baffled the experts until the lady remembered opening a Christmas card covered in glitter. The expert concluded that a small piece of the glitter from the card must have got into her eye lodged itself there and caused the lesion.

The doctors were able to remove the offending piece of glitter and after a treatment of antibiotics the woman’s eye fully recovered.

“The patient was fortunate to have presented in the ophthalmic casualty department. The lesion may have been easily misdiagnosed as a herpetic simplex infection by non-specialists” said Dr Damien Chia Ming Yeo, the doctor who oversaw the case.

Source:  British Medical Journal Case Reports

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