Human hair has that unique quality of being both a blessing and a curse. While it gifts us with luscious locks that can make others swoon, hair also has the inconvenient habit of sprouting out of places we’d rather not have it grow — typically resulting in the reluctant use of tweezers that leaves us whimpering like a child. Still, perhaps we should be fortunate that rogue strands of hair aren’t growing on more sensitive parts of our face, like, say, our very eyes. A 19-year-old man from Iran learned in the most startling way possible that, thanks to a rare tumor known as a limbal dermoid on the surface of his eyeball, hair can grow wherever it damn well pleases.
Researchers from Iran’s Tabriz University of Medical Sciences said that the limbal dermoid on the surface of the young man’s eye had been with him since birth and was, fortunately, benign, having been recently removed due to his experiencing slight vision loss and discomfort.
Now, because we don’t everyone out there fretting that they’ll one day wake up with eyeballs that require constant grooming, Director of Fromer Eye Centers in New York City and Lenox Hill Hospital ophthalmologist Dr. Mark Fromer commented on the man’s hairy situation with the limbal dermoid, stating that the affliction is extremely rare, so much so that an eye doctor would be lucky to see at most two within the span of his or her entire career. In an additional disgusting tidbit, Fromer added that limbal dermoids are made of a similar tissue found in the body that allows for the formation of hair follicles. On some occasions, these same optic tumors have been documented as producing cartilage and even sweat glands, the latter of which likely results in socially crippling optical B.O.
As unsettling as limbal dermoids may be, Fromer says they do not cause extensive damage to the eye, but mostly just blurred vision due to their growth away from the cornea’s center. To be frank, though, if a hairy eye means winning a whole bunch of bar bets around the city, then suffering through inhibited vision seems like a reasonable deal where money and free rounds of drinks are concerned.
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