Bee and wasp stings are always unpleasant, and sometimes, dangerous. Of course, some areas of the human body are more sensitive to the pain of a sting than others. Probably everyone, at one time or another, has wondered where on the body an insect sting would hurt the most. Some particular body parts will inevitably pop into people’s minds immediately when considering this query, but the eyeball would have to be high on the list. A person’s eyeball is one of the most sensitive exposed organs and most people cannot even stand the thought of touching their own eye. It is also frightening to imagine the consequences of sustaining a sting on the eyeball. Would the eyeball swell? Could a stinger penetrate the eye? If so, could a barbed bee stinger become lodged into the eye? And most troubling, would blindness result from a sting to the eye? Although insect stings are rarely inflicted on a person’s eye, there exists a plethora of published case studies describing such injuries.

First of all, a bee and wasp stinger can definitely penetrate an eyeball, and unfortunately, in some cases, a bee’s stinger can become lodged in an eye. Insect stings to an eyelid can cause a venomous reaction and if a bee stinger becomes lodged in a person’s eyelid, there is a good chance that the stinger will scratch the corneal surface of the eyeball. When an eyeball sustains an insect sting, the eye itself will swell. If the cornea is stung, immediate and severe inflammation and tissue degradation will result, and the pain is reported as being excruciating. Some cases of corneal stings have seen victims develop cataracts as a result of the venom’s toxic effect on the anterior lens capsule. Glaucoma and atrophy of the iris can occur, which often leads to some degree of eyesight loss. The toxic effects of insect venom can also kill large amounts of eye cells, leading to temporary, or in some cases, permanent partial or complete vision loss. In severe cases, immediate surgery is required in order to drain excess fluids from an affected eyeball.

Have you ever sustained an insect sting on a particularly sensitive area of your body?