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BBC, 11 April 2019

The BBC recently published a news article about a Taiwanese woman who was found by doctors to have four small sweat bees living inside her eye.

In response to this article published on 10 April, The College of Optometrists’ Director of Research said:

“Headlines like this seem to be increasingly common. Bees living in someone’s eye would indeed be shocking if it was an accurate report of what had happened. The bees were in a woman’s eyes, but they hadn’t chosen to make their home there, as the headline might imply. The bees in the article are much smaller than those we are generally used to seeing in the UK. They were reported to have been alive when removed by the ophthalmologist, but this very different from the insects ‘living in the woman’s eye’.

“The article also suggests that the venom from the bees could have led to blindness. Being stung on the surface of your eye could in theory cause loss of vision or even blindness, but this article rather suggests that this is the most likely result. Not only are such stings to the eye relatively uncommon, even when they do occur, there is every likelihood that your vision can be protected with the appropriate treatment and care from an eye health professional.”

April 11, 2019