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Ophthalmologists treat rare corneal bee sting

Ophthalmologists have detailed how they treated an unlikely case of a corneal bee sting in a renowned peer-reviewed medical journal this month.

Dr Teena Mendonca and Dr Gladys Rodrigues from the Kasturba Medical College Mangalore, Mangalore, India, reported the unique presentation involving a 22-year-old man in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Although considered rare, corneal bee stings can have manifestations ranging from mild irritation to vision loss, with possible complications including corneal decompensation and secondary glaucoma. Such injuries are known to occur during gardening, farm work and bike riding without eye protection.

According to the journal report, the man appeared in an emergency department with redness, pain, and decreased vision one hour after being stung by a bee in the left eye.

His visual acuity in the right eye was 20/20, but he reported seeing only hand movements close to his face with the left eye. Their ocular examination of the left eye showed diffuse corneal haziness caused by corneal edema; a retained stinger that was surrounded by infiltrates.

The ophthalmologists said the patient was treated with a moxifloxacin ophthalmic solution, and the stinger was removed under local anesthesia.

The corneal wound was secured with sutures after thorough cleansing of the anterior chamber, and the patient was prescribed a two-week course of topical glucocorticoids, antibiotics, and cycloplegic medications.

At the three-month follow-up, the corneal edema had resolved and the visual acuity was 20/40 in the left eye.

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