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Eyeball Licking Fetish Among Youth Worries Medical Experts

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An “eyeball licking” fetish has medical experts seeing red as the bizarre act of placing one’s tongue on an eyeball has quickly spread pink eye among young people. (Photo illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

An “eyeball licking” fetish has medical experts seeing red as the bizarre act of placing one’s tongue on an eyeball has quickly spread pink eye among young people. (Photo illustration by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

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Atlanta (CBS ATLANTA) – An “eyeball licking” fetish has medical experts seeing red as the bizarre act of placing one’s tongue on an eyeball has quickly spread pink eye among young people.

Alternatively called “oculolinctus” or “worming,” the strange trend was exposed by the Japanese website Naver Matome and a series of YouTube videos that showed young lovers expressing themselves in the “intimate” act.

However, eye experts are worried that this germ-ridden fad is gaining popularity with preteens, especially after news reports of elementary school students in Japan who dared to test their ocular boundaries and spread numerous cases of pink eye, also called conjunctivitis.

In one Japanese classroom of 12-year-olds, one-third of students confessed to “worming” or being “wormed.” Officials only noticed something was amiss when some of the licked students showed up to school wearing eye patches, ShanghaiList.com reported.

Dr Phillip Rizzuto, of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, told The Daily Mail that licking someone’s eyeball can cause blindness as the bacteria found in the mouth can damage the eye’s tissue. And if the person doing the licking has something such as the herpes virus, it too, can easily be passed onto the other person through the eyeball.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that conjunctivitis is already spread easily from person-to-person from simple hand-to-hand contact, eye-rubbing and even using the same pillow as someone affected by the bacteria. The CDC states that persistent hand-washing and avoiding eye-rubbing are the best ways for non-eyeball lickers to prevent spreading the contagion.

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