Tick bite: Dangerous consequences for the eyes possible

Tick bite: Dangerous consequences for the eyes possible

Ticks can transmit various diseases. While the dangerous meningitis, the so-called tick-borne encephalitis (FSME), can be avoided by vaccination, there is no vaccine protection against Lyme disease. And the longer the animals can attach themselves, the higher the risk of Lyme disease infection. The disease can have many different consequences – including for the eyes. What damage to the eyes is possible? And what do you do if you have a tick on your eye? The most crucial information in brief.

How dangerous is Lyme disease for the eye?

Even if Lyme disease often causes no symptoms or is often discovered and treated early due to the typical reddening, a skin change around the puncture site can cause a so-called neuroborreliosis in rare cases. This can also affect the eyes in several ways.

Nerve damage is typical of this consequence of Lyme disease. Among other things, it can lead to failure of the cranial nerves and paralysis of the facial nerves – including the nerve responsible for closing the eyelids. If the cranial and optic nerves are affected, this can, in rare cases, lead to visual disturbances such as double vision and inflammation in the eye area. These are other possible consequences:

  • inflammation of the macula
  • conjunctivitis _
  • Inflammation of the cornea (keratitis)
  • Inflammation of the choroid and iris (uveitis)
  • inflammation of the dermis
  • Inflammation of blood vessels in the retina (retinal vasculitis)
  • retinal detachment
  • Optic nerve inflammation (optic neuritis)
  • Atrophy of the optic nerve (optic nerve atrophy)

In the worst case, Lyme disease can lead to loss of vision.

Early treatment of Lyme disease with antibiotics can usually prevent permanent eye damage. Local administration of cortisone or various eye drops and other medication is sometimes required to treat the infection in the eye.


Tick bite? Note the date on the calendar.

It is essential that those affected closely monitor their body after a tick bite (colloquially also referred to as a tick bite) and seek medical advice if symptoms occur.

It should be noted that the eye diseases mentioned, like the other Lyme disease symptoms, often only appear weeks or months after the sting. If you notice a tick on you, remove it as soon as possible and then note the date of the tick bite in your calendar. If eye problems occur later, you can tell the ophthalmologist when the infection occurred.

Tick ​​on the eye – what to do with a tick on the eyelid?

Another case is when you get bitten by a tick on your eye. A tick bite on the eyelid can occur in children and adults and is very uncomfortable. There are even isolated reports of a tick in the eye.

A tick on the eye should be removed with particular care so as not to injure the eye. As with removing ticks from other places, it is important not to touch the tick on its abdomen, not to crush it – as this increases the risk of infection. Use a suitable tool (e.g. tick tweezers) to grab them close to the skin and pull them out slowly (not suddenly). Here’s how to remove a tick properly.

If in doubt, it is advisable to seek medical help. Ophthalmologists or general practitioners can help remove the animal. Professionals should permanently remove a tick in the eye. If necessary, anti-inflammatory eye drops are then prescribed. In addition, the area should be closely monitored in the coming days and weeks to detect an infection from the tick bite at an early stage.

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