A man in Kentucky received the shock of his life after his doctor found a small deer tick embedded in his eyeball.
Chris Prater, who works at a local electric company, suddenly developed irritation in his eye after working at a job site in Johnson County. He remembered that while taking down a tree from a power line with his crew, something got trapped in his eye.
Prater tried to flush down the object using some solution, but it didn't work. It became so uncomfortable for him that he went to see his optometrist.
After inspecting Prater's eye, the doctor discovered that the small speck that got trapped was in fact a tiny deer tick. The serviceman thought that it was just a joke at first, but he immediately realized how dangerous the situation could have been.
"He said, 'It's a tick.' That's when I got scared a little bit," Prater told local reporters.
"I leaned around and looked at him and I asked him if he was joking and he said, 'No, you have a deer tick or some type of tick.' It was very little."
The optometrist removed the cumbersome bug by first numbing Prater's eye and then using a pair of tweezers to pluck the creature.
A Facebook user posted a picture of the deer tick while it was still embedded in Prater's eye. The post has since received almost 160,000 shares, 78,000 reactions, and 251 comments.
After the procedure, the doctor told Prater to apply steroid drops to his eye and take some antibiotics to prevent infection. He also needs to go on follow-up checkups to make sure that his eye is safe and healthy.
Prater offered advice to people who might encounter the same thing while staying outdoors.
"You get a lot of kids hiking, camping, I just urge them to spray," he joked. "But you can't spray your eyes."
Other Similar Incidents
Prater's is not the only one who has had a brush in with a troublesome tick. In 2011, a report featured in the American Academy of Ophthalmology's website described how doctors removed a tick from another man's eye.
John Hardie, a 28-year-old naval petty officer, suffered the bug incursion while hiking in Shenandoah National Park. Much like in Prater's case, Hardie was first given anesthesia before the doctors could remove the bug from his eyeball. His vision later improved following the procedure.
Meanwhile, a 9-year-old Connecticut boy had a tick enter his right ear. He told doctors at Yale New Haven Children's Hospital that he didn't feel any pain, but he kept hearing strange buzzing noise from that ear. He also didn't suffer from any hearing impairment.
The boy underwent surgery to have the bug removed safely from his ear. He was also given an antibiotic eardrop to heal any possible abrasions from the operation.
Dangers Of Tick Bites
In all three instances, the ticks got themselves embedded into the patients' bodies by biting into their eyes or ears. Aside from the obvious dangers of having a foreign object lodged into any body part, suffering a tick bite also carries serious health risks to people.
People allergic to tick bites can experience pain or swelling at the bite site, rashes, a burning sensation at the bite site, blisters, and difficulty breathing in severe cases.
Ticks may also carry certain diseases that are quite harmful to humans. Getting bitten by a disease-carrying bug can result in rashes, neck stiffness, headaches, nausea, weakness, muscle or joint pain, fever, chills, and swollen lymph nodes.