Glitter is literally everywhere right now. It’s on our Instagram feeds, in our holiday parcels, and it’s even all over our faces and bodies.
But, one woman’s run-in with a clump of glitter from a Christmas card landed her in the emergency room with a lesion in her cornea.
A British Medical Journal (BMJ) case study sent to Mashable reports that a 49-year-old woman went to hospital because her eye was painful, red, and her visual acuity was significantly reduced. During an initial examination, doctors found a lesion in the cornea “just inferior to the visual axis.”
When the lesion was further examined under a microscope, a “shiny surface” was discovered.
“When the patient was questioned directly, she remembers coming in contact with some glitter from a Christmas card,” reads the report.
“Interestingly, the glitter had formed itself in a clump that mimicked the shape of a dendritic ulcer,” the report continues.
The glitter clump was removed from the woman’s cornea, and she was prescribed a topical antibiotic before being discharged.
“In this instance, the patient was fortunate to have presented in the ophthalmic casualty department,” says the BMJ. “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.”
This isn’t the first warning glitter lovers have received about the substance’s potential for causing harm. A professor at Plymouth University, UK, recently stated that products containing glitter will “escape down the plughole and potentially enter the environment” and pollute marine environments.
Time to step away from the glitter for good.