While the world is fighting a deadly COVID-19 pandemic, a mother of an 11-year-old girl from New Delhi had to bear witness to a worse fright. After seeing her daughter shed tears of blood from both eyes for a week, the mother bought her to a clinic in New Delhi. With hopes pinned on doctors to find out what's wrong, she had to carry a bigger weight of mystery on her shoulders.
The doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) observed the young girl for two days and found that she shed blood tears two to three times every day and each episode would last up to 3 minutes. The tears of blood were spontaneous and weren't associated with stress or crying.
The investigation began
The team of doctors started performing various tests to diagnose the condition. First, the general examination was carried out, which did not raise any red flags. The eyes vision was normal at 20/20 and the pressure inside the girl's eyes was within the normal range.
The doctors then performed blood tests, CT scan and even examined the cells in the blood tears. To their shock and surprise, everything appeared normal. Without no plausible causes leading to the condition, the doctors ruled it idiopathic, which is when the cause of a medical condition is unknown.
But after investigations, doctors said the tears of blood could vanish just as strangely as they started and that there's no cause for concern in the matter.
Doctors, who published a study of her case in BMJ Case Reports, said this could be a case of haemolacria, "a condition characterized by the presence of blood in tears." It is extremely rare condition and has many different causes based on previous cases, but it is commonly associated to bacterial conjunctivitis.
Mother's concern doesn't fade away
The young girl's mother said there is no sensation of pain when drops of blood form a red streak down her daughter's cheeks. But having to witness it is horrifying, and it's worse when the root cause of the condition isn't known to provide medical treatment.
"I am scared about my daughter's health," the mother is reported to have told staff. "The blood coming from her eyes is horrifying. I hope there will not be any similar episodes in future."