Eyeball Licking: Dangers of Oculolinctus, New Fad Sweeping Japan

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Pink eye can be a result of eyeball licking. Photo by:  P33tr

Pink eye can be a result of eyeball licking. Photo by: P33tr

Would you lick someone else’s eyeball? This odd new trend started by school-aged children and teenagers in Japan is also called ‘worming’ or oculolinctus.

A teacher in Japan told CBS News that he caught two sixth graders licking each others eyeballs and then after doing his own independent survey, he found that one-third of the children in the school admitted to ‘worming.’

So what can go wrong with this act? Let’s count the ways…

Oculolinctus Spreads Bacteria

Does the person who is licking your eyeball have bad breath? Bad breath is a sign that the mouth is full of bacteria. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by a number of things, poor dental hygiene, having food stuck between your teeth, dry mouth, infections, certain medications, and even having acid reflux.

Even without bad breath, your mouth is filled with bacteria which can quickly spread from the mouth to the eyeball, potentially resulting in significant infections.

Eyeball-Licking Causes Pink Eye

This highly contagious infection is also known as conjunctivitis and is common in children. Pink eye causes redness, itching, inflammation, and a greenish, yellowish liquid to collect in the eyes. Pink eye comes from a bacterial infection or viral infection. If you have a watery discharge from the eye, you most likely have pink eye caused by a viral infection, according to the Mayo Clinic, but if you have a green or yellowish discharge, it’s probably a bacterial infection.

Licking Eyes Can Spread Herpes

If the person who is doing the licking has a cold sore or herpes, they can spread herpes to the other person’s eyes, potentially resulting in scarring of the cornea, and blindness. Cold sores, also called fever blisters, or oral herpes, are caused by the herpes simplex virus which is highly contagious.

Click to Read Page Two: Potential for Corneal Ulcer

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© Copyright 2013 Janelle Vaesa, MPH, All rights Reserved. Written For: Decoded Science
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Comments

  1. LukeyL says

    It is a strange world in which we live in which one must be told that it is a bad idea to lick another person’s eyeball.

      • Leo says

        Dude: the things kids do when left alone! Too many kids left alone together; of course they’re gonna come up with stupid stuff!

        The stuff you never thought would ever in a million years come up so you’d have to say no to it — that’s what kids come up with.

        Next is the recurrence of wet willies…

  2. Tony Montana says

    the media picks and chooses which behavior they will discuss as unhealthy, they will never discuss how unhealthy homosexuality is

  3. Leo says

    Disgusting. Have you become less sensitive to eye surgery as well? And whose eyeballs do you lick? Your boss’s or your girlfriend’s?

    I hate to burst your bubble but Japan isn’t the only country engaging in this revolting new fad.

    Besides, it will be gone next year, just like prancercise. (Don’t get me started)

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