Two weeks ago, a fellow co-worker of ours had an eye-opening experience with a small insect. John, a Web designer for FramesDirect.com, was sitting outside on the picnic table while on his lunch break, like he does on most days. But this day was different, while John was eating lunch and enjoying the outdoors, an ant fell from an overhanging tree branch and landed on his eyeglasses. John didn’t notice the hanger-on until he was back inside working at his desk.
“I saw something out of the corner of my eye crawling on the temple of my glasses,” John said. “I swatted at it and missed, but I knocked it onto my cheek and into the corner of my eye. Then I could feel him squirming around in there.”
While trying to casually brush the insect off of his face, John instead knocked the ant into his tear duct, from whence it crawled under his eyelid. But the ant didn’t stop its tracks there, as John started blinking frantically and rubbing his eye, the ant naturally attempted to protect itself and slipped underneath his eyeball to where it was unreachable and “out of sight,” so to speak.
“It didn’t really hurt at all, but I could feel him crawling around in my eye and it was driving me nuts.”
John decided that he should head to the emergency room immediately. Once he arrived at an emergency services location, they weren’t exactly sure what to do, so the doctor just stuck his head inside a sink and washed his eye out vigorously with water. John said he could still feel the ant inside there, but the doctor assured him that the ant was gone, or would “work its way out over time.”
Ironically (but luckily for him) John works for FramesDirect.com, which is an online eyewear store. The company is headed by two certified eye doctors, Dr. Cooper and Dr. Hodgson, so the next day John approached Dr. Cooper to get some professional advice on what to do about the ant in his eye.
“I told him it still felt like it was in there, he looked around in my eye really well and told me it was gone. He said that when an insect gets trapped like that, it emits an acid from its body so it will still feel like it’s there. Then he explained to me that there is a membrane around the eyeball which prevents anything from going behind the eye, it can only get beneath or above it.”
Meanwhile at the office, word had gotten around about John’s eye incident so we were all passing around corny jokes about his situation like, “Hey John, we heard your eye is ‘buggin’ you,” and “John’s super power is Ant Vision.” But by the time he arrived at the office the next day, we all felt too bad for him to keep the jokes going.
So what’s to learn from all of this? First of all, if a bug lands on your face, be sure to brush it away from your eye, not into it. Second, if you happen to have an insect fall in your eye, pray that you work at a business that has eye doctors on staff.