‘Eye’ Can’t Look: 4 Eyeball Injuries That Will Make You Squirm


Post 8577

‘Eye’ Can’t Look: 4 Eyeball Injuries That Will Make You Squirm

Introduction

Injuries to eyeballs might make you want to squirm and cover your eyes, but these icky accidents and odd occurrences can also be illuminating.

Read on for a peek at some of the most interesting and unusual eyeball incidents that Live Science has covered over the years.

Squirming coil

What one man in India thought was an odd shadow in his left eye turned out to be a live worm wriggling around.

Doctors were able to remove the slender worm, which they later identified as the parasite Loa loa, according to a report of the man’s case, published in January 2016 in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

In the report, the critter was described as “a fairly long live worm moving around in a haphazard manner through the vitreous cavity,” which is located toward the back of the eye, behind the lens and in front of the retina.

The man’s job as a fruit vendor may have made him more susceptible to infection, as the parasite can be transmitted by fruit flies, the report said.

Split open and melt

A 61-year-old woman experienced a strange side effect of her rheumatoid arthritis: a condition called “corneal melt,” according to a 2014 report of the woman’s case published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

The condition occurs when a person’s immune system attacks the area of the eye next to the cornea, tearing the ocular tissue and allowing the iris, which sits behind the cornea, to “slip” out. (The cornea is the transparent layer of the eye that sits on top of the iris and the pupil.)

In the woman’s case, both of her eyes were affected — a very rare occurrence, experts say.

Doctors can attempt to repair the eyes surgically, but that won’t prevent the condition from happening again, according to theAmerican Academy of Ophthalmology.

“Protruding” feature

Doctors in China spotted an odd feature in a woman’s eyes: a raised, rippled ring of tissue encircling the irises of both eyes.

The ring, called a “protruding iris collarette,” isn’t actually linked to any vision problems. Instead, it’s a variation of a normally flat part of the eye called the iris collarette. In the woman’s case, the doctors found that her eyes were healthy and her vision was normal, according to the report of the woman’s case, published in March 2017 in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Although the protruding features in this woman’s case were particularly pronounced, the condition isn’t as rare as it may seem, Dr. Andrea Thau, the former president of the American Optometric Association, who was not involved in the case report, told Live Science in March 2017. Generally, the raised ring of tissue isn’t as prominent as the one seen in this case, Thau said.

Limited diet leads to boy’s vision loss

A highly restrictive diet that was limited to potatoes, pork, lamb, apples, cucumbers and Cheerios led to an 11-year-old boy’s severe vision loss, according to a report of the boy’s case.

None of those foods is a good source of vitamin A, and indeed, when doctors tested the boy’s blood to measure levels of the vitamin, they found that he was severely deficient in vitamin A, according to the report, published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics in October 2017.

Vitamin A is essential for vision because it helps certain cells in the eyes function properly. Without enough of the vitamin, a person can develop severely dry eyes and a buildup of material on the outer covering of the eyes. Vitamin A deficiency can also lead to problems in the retina, which is home to light-sensing cells that make vision possible.

To treat the vitamin deficiency, doctors gave the boy “megadoses” of vitamin A intravenously. The appearance of his eyes improved significantly, but his vision may be permanently damaged, according to the report.

 

Advertisements

It’s Official: Earliest Known Marine Astrolabe Found in Shipwreck


Post 8576

It’s Official: Earliest Known Marine Astrolabe Found in Shipwreck

Partner Series
It's Official: Earliest Known Marine Astrolabe Found in Shipwreck

A scan of the astrolabe revealed etchings on it.

Credit: University of Warwick

More than 500 years ago, a fierce storm sank a ship carrying the earliest known marine astrolabe — a device that helped sailors navigate at sea, new research finds.

Divers found the artifact in 2014, but were unsure exactly what it was at the time. Now, thanks to a 3D-imaging scanner, scientists were able to find etchings on the bronze disc that confirmed it was an astrolabe.

“It was fantastic to apply our 3D scanning technology to such an exciting project and help with the identification of such a rare and fascinating item,” Mark Williams, a professorial fellow at the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick, in the United Kingdom, said in a statement. Williams and his team did the scan.

A researcher examines a scan of the astrolabe.

A researcher examines a scan of the astrolabe.

Credit: University of Warwick

The marine astrolabe likely dates to between 1495 and 1500, and was aboard a ship known as the Esmeralda, which sank in 1503. The Esmeralda was part of a fleet led by Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, the first known person to sail directly from Europe to India. [The 25 Most Mysterious Archaeological Finds on Earth]

In 2014, an expedition led by Blue Water Recoveries excavated the Esmeralda shipwreck and recovered the astrolabe. But because researchers couldn’t discern any navigational markings on the almost 7-inch-diameter (17.5 centimeters) disc, they were cautious about labeling it without further evidence.

Now, the new scan reveals etchings around the edge of the disc, each separated by five degrees, Williams found. This detail proves it’s an astrolabe, as these markings would have helped mariners measure the height of the sun above the horizon at noon — a strategy that helped themfigure out their locationwhile at sea, Williams said.

One side of the astrolabe has the Portuguese coat of arms, and the personal emblem of Portuguese King Dom Manuel I.

One side of the astrolabe has the Portuguese coat of arms, and the personal emblem of Portuguese King Dom Manuel I.

Credit: University of Warwick

The disc is also engraved with the Portuguese coat of arms and the personal emblem of Dom Manuel I, Portugal’s king from 1495 to1521.

“Usually we are working on engineering-related challenges, so to be able to take our expertise and transfer that to something totally different and so historically significant was a really interesting opportunity,” Williams said.

Originally published on Live Science.

Woman’s Scalp Was Torn from Her Head in Horrifying Accident


Post 8575

Woman’s Scalp Was Torn from Her Head in Horrifying Accident

Partner Series
Woman's Scalp Was Torn from Her Head in Horrifying Accident

Two months after the woman’s injury. The scar from the surgery can be seen running from ear to ear.

Credit: BMJ Case Reports/CC BY-NC 4.0

Editor’s Note: This story contains some graphic images.

In an awful accident, a woman in Japan had her entire scalp pulled off her head, according to a new report of the woman’s case.

The accident occurred when the 64-year-old woman’s long hair got caught in a spinning machine, tearing her scalp away from her skull. The machine tore a line around the woman’s skull, level with the top of her nose. The top thirds of both of her ears were part of the scalp portion that was ripped away, as was her entire right eyebrow and half of her left eyebrow.

The doctors who treated the woman were able to reattach her scalp relatively quickly, according to the report, which was published yesterday (Oct. 24) in the journal BMJ Case Reports. Four hours after the injury took place, plastic surgeons had successfully reattached her scalp to her head, the doctors report. [27 Oddest Case Reports]

An image of the woman's scalp after the injury took place. The woman's eyebrows are visible to the left of image and the top of her right ear is visible at the bottom of the image.
An image of the woman’s scalp after the injury took place. The woman’s eyebrows are visible to the left of image and the top of her right ear is visible at the bottom of the image.

Credit: BMJ Case Reports/CC BY-NC 4.0

The type of injury, which doctors refer to as “scalp avulsion,” is extremely rare in Japan, according to the case report. This is the second case in the medical literature describing the successful treatment of the injury in the country, the authors noted.

Repairing the injury involves, in part, reattaching blood vessels and nervesin the scalp to the head. The doctors were able to successfully reattach four large main blood vessels, two on the right side of the head and two on the left. However, after the operation, the doctors found that blood flowed only through the vessels on the right side of the head — but that these vessels were able to adequately supply blood to the entire scalp. The doctors were unable to reattach any of the woman’s nerves.

A CT scan of the woman's head several months after the injury shows blood flow in two of the blood vessels on the right side of her head, in the image on the left. That same blood flow is not seen in the image on the right, which shows the left side of her head.
A CT scan of the woman’s head several months after the injury shows blood flow in two of the blood vessels on the right side of her head, in the image on the left. That same blood flow is not seen in the image on the right, which shows the left side of her head.

Credit: BMJ Case Reports/CC BY-NC 4.0

Two weeks after the operation, the woman developed a lesion, 3 by 4 centimeters (1.2 by 1.6 inches) near her left eye where her skin tissue was dying. The skin in this area was removed, and the doctors performed askin graft, transferring healthy skin to the area from a different part of her body.

By two months after the initial operation, signs pointed to the woman making a good recovery: “Exuberant hair growth was evident,” the doctors wrote, though they added that there was less hair growth on the left side of her head, perhaps due to trouble with the blood vessels on that side.

A year after the injury, the woman’s hair had grown “sufficiently.” In addition, she was able to open and close both of her eyelids and move her right eyebrow. And though the doctors weren’t able to attach the woman’s nerves, she regained sensation in the front and on both sides of her head, and was able to contract her forehead muscle — these improvements suggest that the nerves recovered on their own, according to the report.

One year after the injury, the woman's hair had grown back and she was able to open and close her eyes.
One year after the injury, the woman’s hair had grown back and she was able to open and close her eyes.

Credit: BMJ Case Reports/CC BY-NC 4.0

The woman told the doctors she was “very satisfied with the aesthetic result,” and noted that she had “no problems in [her] daily life activities,” according to the report.

Originally published on Live Science.

What Is Leptospirosis? Dozens of Cases Suspected in Puerto Rico


Post 8574

What Is Leptospirosis? Dozens of Cases Suspected in Puerto Rico

 https://www.livescience.com/60775-leptospirosis-puerto-rico.html
What Is Leptospirosis? Dozens of Cases Suspected in Puerto Rico

An image of Leptospira bacteria, which cause leptospirosis.

Credit: CDC/ Rob Weyant

Dozens of people in Puerto Rico are suspected to have contracted leptospirosis, a bacterial illness, in the wake of Hurricane Maria, and several people have died from the disease.

Yesterday (Oct. 24), officials in Puerto Rico said they had confirmed two deaths from the disease, according to CBS News. Another 74 cases of suspected leptospirosis are being investigated, CBS reported. (In total, 51 people have died in Puerto Rico as a result of Hurricane Maria.)

Leptospirosis is caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium known as Leptospira, which can infect animals and people.

People can become infected with Leptospira bacteria when they come into contact with the urine of infected animals, or with an environment that’s been contaminated with the infected urine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For example, the bacteria can contaminate water or soil, and survive there for months, the CDC said. [27 Devastating Infectious Diseases]

Outbreaks of leptospirosis typically happen when people are exposed to the bacteria through contaminated water, such as floodwaters, the CDC said. The bacteria do not typically spread from person to person.

The devastation caused by Hurricane Maria created conditions that increase the risk that people will contract certain infectious diseases, including leptospirosis, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America, which recently sent a letter to Congress urging action to prevent the spread of disease in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands after Hurricane Maria.

“With water supplies still not restored and sewerage systems disrupted to many affected areas, individuals may turn to rivers, springs or other ad hoc water sources. This approach, along with the presence of floodwaters, increases the risk of illness caused by waterborne pathogens,” including leptospirosis, the letter said.

Some people infected with Leptospira bacteria may have no symptoms, according to the CDC. Others may experience a high fever, chills, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea and photophobia (eye discomfort when exposed to bright light). In severe cases, the infection can lead to kidney damage, brain inflammation, liver failure and death, the CDC said.

Puerto Rico typically has around 60 to 95 cases of leptospirosis per year, and cases were expected to rise after the hurricane, CNN reported.  Healthy officials are now awaiting lab results for the suspected cases, which are being carried out by the CDC.

Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics, usually doxycycline or penicillin. Treatment should begin as early as possible to reduce the severity and duration of the disease, the CDC said.

Original article on Live Science.

Don’t Stick Magnets in Your Nose: Boy’s Case Shows Risks


Post 8573

Don’t Stick Magnets in Your Nose: Boy’s Case Shows Risks

 https://www.livescience.com/60774-magnets-stuck-in-nostrils.htmlDon't Stick Magnets in Your Nose: Boy's Case Shows Risks
Two magnets can be seen in these X-ray images of the boy’s skull. In the image on left, the magnets appear as two white vertical lines. In the image on the right, taken from the side, the magnets’ circular shape is visible.

Credit: The New England Journal of Medicine ©2017

Magnets can be dangerous toys for children — if swallowed, they can stick together, creating holes in the body, and lead to a medical emergency.

The same appears to be true even in cases when children don’t swallow the magnets. Take, for example, a recent case of an 11-year-old boy in Cyprus who inserted two flat, circular magnets into his nostrils.

The magnets, one of which was in each nostril, were drawn together, and the boy was unable to remove them, according to the case report, published today (Oct. 25) in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Six hours after putting the magnets in his nose, the boy was brought to the emergency room. His nose was bleeding and he was in severe pain, the report said. X-rays revealed the two magnets stuck together, pinching the boy’s nasal septum, which is the wall between the nostrils that separates the nasal passages.

But the ER doctors were unable to pry the magnets apart: “Attempts to remove the magnets in the emergency department were unsuccessful because of intense adherence,” the report said. [27 Oddest Medical Cases]

Instead, the boy was taken to the operating room to remove the magnets under anesthesia, according to the report. To do this, the surgeons used two additional magnets, which they placed on either side of the outside of the boy’s nose, in order to pull the stuck magnets apart.

Magnets tightly pinching the nasal septum can lead to tissue death andperforation, meaning that a hole forms in the septum, according to the report. In the boy’s case, the magnets had worn away part of the mucosal lining of his nasal septum, exposing some of the cartilage below. Special barriers were put in the boy’s nose to cover the exposed area for several days while his nose healed.

When the doctors saw the boy six months later, his nose had fully healed.

Originally published on Live Science.