Unilateral phthiriasis palpebrarum infestation in a child during occlusion therapy for amblyopia: Case report

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Biler E. , Selver Ö. , Palamar M. , ÜNER A. , ÜRETMEN Ö.

SAUDI JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.30, no.1, pp.78-80, 2016 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 30 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.sjopt.2015.11.008
  • Page Numbers: pp.78-80


An 8-year-old mentally retarded boy is brought to the hospital because of itching and burning at his right eye for 10 days. He was on full time right eye occlusion therapy for left amblyopia. Slit lamp examination revealed nits and adult lice anchored to the eyelashes in his occluded eye. Eyelashes and all detected lice and nits were mechanically trimmed, and sent for parasitological examination, which confirmed the diagnosis. Upon familial evaluation for additional infestation, the father was also found to have genital phthiriasis pubis and received appropriate treatment. While phthiriasis palpebrarum in children may signify sexual abuse, a detailed investigation by a child psychiatrist was performed and revealed no sign of abuse. Since the infestation was at only on occluded eye, the most possible explanation for the transmission was evaluated as the misusage of the adhesive patch in our case. In conclusion, sexual abuse should be excluded in children with phthiriasis palpebrarum and parents of amblyopic children on occlusion therapy should be warned about the importance of the hygiene of the patching in order to avoid any kind of infection and infestation.