Japanese eyeball-licking craze carries blindness risk

Japanese eyeball-licking craze carries blindness risk

Apparently, expressing your love for someone has just gotten a little bit stranger among Japanese school-aged children and teens. The Daily Mail reports that an eyeball-licking craze is a growing trend among this group of students despite the fact that it carries with it numerous health risks.

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency medicine doctor at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told CBSNews.com that health experts are extremely concerned that the spread of bacteria that live in the mouth to the eye will lead to bacterial infections like conjunctivitis.

Besides conjunctivitis, there are numerous other health risks associated with this behavior. Dr. David Ganet, a San Diego ophtalmologist, told the Huffington Post that ridges on the tongue can lead to a corneal abrasion. Spices from a meal could also injure the eye if they’re not washed out before the act is performed.

According to the HuffPost, eyeball licking is neither new nor limited in scope to Japanese students. Also known as “oculolinctus” or “worming,” the eyeball-licking craze is also popular with Elektrika Energias, a environmental science student in the U.S. Virgin Islands,

Energias told the HuffPost that her boyfriend began licking her eyeballs several years ago. Though she’s no longer with her first eyeball-licking boyfriend, she says she enjoys the experience because it feels great, kind of like someone sucking on her toes.

The eyeball-licking craze has been around for a while. In fact, there are hundreds of YouTube clips of people worming each other. How popular is it? Japanese blog Naver Matome found one teacher who conducted an independent survey of students and discovered 33 percent of the children at his school acknowledged trying eyeball licking.

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