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Bee sting to the cornea: toxic effects and management

Andrew Olivo Payne and Elaine Chong
Med J Aust 2018; 209 (4): 155. || doi: 10.5694/mja17.01202
Published online: 20 August 2018

A 62-year-old man with a history of bee allergy presented with severe eye pain one day after being stung in the eye by a bee. Figure A shows corneal oedema due to endothelial toxicity secondary to bee venom. Despite ideal management of intensive topical steroids and antibiotic drops, the cornea did not recover. An endothelial keratoplasty, rather than penetrating keratoplasty, was performed 6 months later. Two weeks after the transplant, his cornea started to clear (Figure, B), and vision improved from 1/60 to 6/18. The entry site of the stinger can be seen as an area of white scarring within the cornea stroma.

  • Andrew Olivo Payne1
  • Elaine Chong1,2

  • 1 Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, Melbourne, VIC
  • 2 Royal Melbourne Hospital, Melbourne, VIC


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