Warning: This post contains graphic images.
A Texas teen who has been crying tears of blood is at the centre of a medical mystery after doctors are unable to determine the cause.
The family of a 14-year-old girl identified only as Erica by ABC News affiliate in Dallas, Texas has reportedly been crying tears of blood on-and-off for the past three years.
Erica’s mother says it all began when she noticed a white discharge coming from her daughters eye when she was 11-years-old, followed shortly after by blood.
The family asked that Ericas’s full name not be revealed to protect her privacy. The mother says her daughter has had to get an emotional support dog to cope with the persistent bullying she’s received because of the bleeding.
The family has sought help from numerous doctors, but not even surgery on Erica’s tear duct has been able to help.
“Ophthalmology, ENT, hematology. A variety of doctors and pretty much everybody throwing their hands up say there was nothing that could be done,” the mother said.
The family says that the bleeding did stop for nearly a year. During that time, the family lost their home to Hurricane Harvey, and had to relocate and start-over, but the bleeding has since returned.
Recently, an Italian man made headlines for suffering from a condition that caused him to cry tears of blood.
The New England Journal of Medicine recently published a case of a 52-year-old man in Messina, Italy who was taken to hospital after spontaneously experiencing bloody tears. The unnamed patient reported no history of injury to the eye and normal vision.
Doctors diagnosed him with hemolacria, a rare condition that causes blood to be mixed with tears. According to reports, the man had an inflammation of the blood vessels in the membrane lining of his eyelids, known as the conjunctiva. He was prescribed specialty drops and at his one-year follow up, reported no further episodes.
While Erica’s family hasn’t been as fortunate to receive answers, they are still hopeful that someone will hear their story and offer to help.
“If there’s a doctor or someone that can help, it would be a huge blessing,” Erica’s mom told reporters.
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