Eye Health

14 June 2013

Eyeball-licking fetish making teens sick

‘Worming’ or eyeball licking, is a very strange new fetish that has been blamed for a rise in cases of conjunctivitis.

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In what is fast becoming a popular fetish in Japan, this new practise that’s been coined ‘worming’ that involves licking someone’s eyeball. And it’s particularly popular with Japanese teenagers.

This practice is being blamed for a significant rise in Japanese cases of conjunctivitis and eye-chlamydia, and is believed to have stemmed from a music video by Japanese emo band Born.

Social media sites are buzzing with images and videos of worming as this practice shows no signs of slowing down. Some say it’s the sensitive nerve endings in the cornea and the sensation of ‘oculolinctus’ (eyeball licking) has been likened to that of toe-sucking.

But as ‘nice’ as this tingly sensation might be, the reality is that it’s a real health risk.

From pink-eye to corneal scratching, which can lead to ulcers and blindness, it’s a craze which has very serious side-effects and should not be encouraged, say experts.

 
 

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Optometrist

Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg and is currently practising at Tygerberg Academic Hospital in Cape Town. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

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