Three-year-old undergoes 4 surgeries as caterpillar falls into eye

Thane (Maha): A three-year-old girl from Navi Mumbai, who suffered agonising pain for days after a caterpillar with stinging hair landed into her eye, underwent four surgeries for removal of over 150 such strands.

The girl, Vedika Sandecha, was at her grandmother's house at Karad in Satara district last month, when while playing in the garden the hairy caterpillar suddenly fell into her right eye causing instant pain and irritation.

Her parents rushed her to a local clinic as the irritation increased and the child couldn't open her eye.

The local physician saw over 150 strands of caterpillar hair lodged into her eye. The child was administered local anaesthesia and the doctor removed nearly 60 per cent strands, but failed to pluck out the rest, due to which she could not open her eye. Her family was asked to consult an eye specialist in the city.
 
The girl was referred to Dr Girija Suresh, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Fortis Hospital at Mulund in Thane district, where she underwent total three surgeries at different points in time.

"Foreign bodies like stiff caterpillar hair, which are not visible to the naked eyes, have tendency to get lodged deep inside the eye and can cause a lot of agony to the patient. Our challenge increased multifold as we were dealing with a three-year-old old patient," Dr Girija said.

The doctor removed nearly 30 hair from the lower lid and around 10 from the upper one. The operation was done under general anesthesia using an operating microscope.

"The condition caused by caterpillar hair in eyes is known as Caterpillar Hair Induced Ophthalmitis (CHIO), which is inflammation of eyes caused due to friction with the hair strands. This is condition is not reported very frequently.

The treatment for this condition involves removal of hair with the use of fine forceps," Dr Girija said, adding that the procedure lasted for over one hour.

However, after few days, the parents called the doctor again, complaining that their daughter was unable to open her eye. On examination, doctors found and removed two strands in the lower lid and 4-5 in the upper lid of the eye and one in the lid margin.

The girl had to be rushed to the hospital once again as she was not unable to open the eye, following which one more similar surgery was performed. After that the girl could open her eye and in a few days, recovered fully, her parents said.

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