South West Wales

Christmas card glitter caused woman's eye lesion

A Christmas card made with glitter Image copyright Getty Images

Christmas card glitter caused a lesion in a woman's eyeball, a report in a medical journal has said.

She was treated at Swansea's Singleton Hospital after suffering a painful, swollen eye and had lost some vision.

A British Medical Journal (BMJ) case study said doctors initially thought the 49-year-old had a herpes infection.

When the lesion was examined under a microscope, the shiny surface was seen and the woman recalled getting glitter in her eye from a Christmas card.

Doctors in the ophthalmology department of the hospital saw the lesion on the woman's cornea, but initially mistook it as the glitter had formed into a clump, causing a lesion that mimicked the symptoms of a herpes infection, the report said.

The BMJ report warned doctors to always ask about the cause of a possible eye trauma, even if symptoms seemed to clearly show a common infection.

"The lesion may have been easily misdiagnosed as a herpetic simplex infection by non-specialists for which treatment would have been topical antiviral ointment instead of removal and antibiotics," the report said.

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