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Case Rep Ophthalmol. 2011 Sep;2(3):323-6. doi: 10.1159/000333105. Epub 2011 Oct 2.

Tarantula hairs as corneal foreign bodies.

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University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.



To report a case of tarantula hairs found in the cornea and discuss treatment.


A 16-year-old male presented with a 6-week history of right ocular irritation that began after letting his pet tarantula crawl on his face. Slit-lamp examination of the right eye revealed the presence of approximately 16 dark foreign bodies that had the appearance of small hairs. The foreign bodies were removed from the nasal region of the right cornea using Jewelers forceps, and the patient was prescribed a combination neomycin, polymyxin B, and dexamethasone ointment (Maxitrol(®)), given 4 times per day.


The patient presented for follow-up 2 weeks later, with resolution of symptoms.


Effective treatment of keratitis caused by tarantula hairs includes taking a detailed history, conducting a careful slit-lamp examination, removal of any accessible hairs, and initiation of treatment with a topical steroid as determined by the clinical picture.


Cornea; Foreign body; Keratitis; Tarantula

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