- A 14-year-old girl has been crying bloody tears for three years, according to a report from Texas ABC affiliate KTRK.
- The girl’s mother told KTRK that her daughter has seen multiple doctors but still has no diagnosis.
- In recent years, outlets and doctors have reported similar cases of people crying bloody tears.
A 14-year-old Texas girl has spent three years crying bloody tears, but doctors still aren’t sure why it’s happening, ABC affiliate KTRK reported Monday.
The girl, identified only as “Erica,” reportedly noticed a white discharge coming from her eye when she was 11 years old. After that, the bleeding started.
The bloody tears stopped for about a year, the report added, but they returned again just this week.
Erica’s mother, who was not identified by name in the report, said her daughter’s peers have teased her so much about the condition, she had to get an emotional support dog.
Still, after many doctor’s visits and a tear duct surgery, Erica’s condition remains unexplained and unresolved, according to her mother.
Other people have suffered from bloody tears with no obvious cause
A handful of media and medical reports suggest that Erica isn’t the only person to have suffered from bloody tears, or haemolacria, as it’s known to doctors.
In 2013, Tennessee resident Michael Spann told The Tennessean he was crying blood weekly. And in 2009, a 15-year-old named Calvino Inman reported crying blood up to three times daily, CBS News reported at the time.
Doctors have also documented the phenomenon.
One 2004 paper in the journal Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, identified one boy and three girls, ranging from 6 to 14 years old, who all had “spontaneous bloody tearing.” Each patient underwent a battery of tests to identify a possible cause but all were totally normal. Luckily, in all the patients, the blood tears eventually resolved with no lasting problems.
And earlier this year, BMJ Case Reports published a study of a 15-year-old girl in India who also started bleeding from the eyes for no apparent reason. Eight months later, there was “spontaneous reduction” in the frequency of the bloody tears, the report said.
This seemingly random haemolacria “is rarely encountered in clinical practice,” the authors wrote.
There can also be medical reasons that blood shows up in the tears, they added, including physical trauma, eye tumours, diseases of the tear system, bleeding disorders, certain medications, endometriosis, and “retrograde” nosebleeds, meaning a bloody nose starts leaking from the eyes. (A separate case report describes that exact phenomenon in a 56-year-old British woman.)
But, for now, it’s not clear what is causing Erica’s bloody tears, and the case remains a mystery.
“If there’s a doctor or someone that can help, it would be a huge blessing,” her mother told KTRK.
Watch the original report from KTRK below. Warning: This video contains graphic images.