Eyeball Licking: Dangers of Oculolinctus, New Fad Sweeping Japan

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Home / Eyeball Licking: Dangers of Oculolinctus, New Fad Sweeping Japan
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.

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