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Am J Ophthalmol. 2003 Sep;136(3):563-4.

Acute conjunctival inflammation following contact with squashed spider contents.

Author information

  • 1Discipline of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Newcastle, and Newcastle Mater Misericordiae Hospital, Waratah, New South Wales, Australia. gsbite@bigpond.com



To report the effects to the eye following contact with spider contents.


Observational case report.


A 46-year-old man presented with a painful and inflamed eye after contents of a spider got into his right eye when he squashed the spider with a newspaper. He suffered immediate severe pain in the eye, which rapidly became red and swollen. He had conjunctival edema and periorbital swelling of the eye and severe photophobia, but his vision was normal.


Topical local anesthetic was applied to the right eye, which was then flushed with normal saline for an hour. The redness and swelling began to resolve over 2 hours.


Ocular exposure to the contents of a spider can cause severe pain, swelling, and redness associated with photophobia. The effects are short term, so reassurance, irrigation, and symptomatic treatment are sufficient.

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