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Bloody Tears Shed by Teenager


Bloody tears are being shed by a teenager. The reason remains a mystery to family and doctors.

Calvino Inman, 15, of Rockwood, Tennessee, reports the bloody tears began in May. Inman sheds the bloody tears up to three times a day with no warning or precipitating event. Each episode may last up to an hour.

CBS interviewed Inman and his mother, Tammy Mynatt who reported calling 911 the first time he shed bloody tears.

For now, the cause of Inman’s bloody tears remain a medical mystery. There is a rare medical condition called haemolacria (bloody tears) which may explain it.

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The medical workup includes a complete physical exam with laboratory blood work, MRI, and CTscan.

A bloody discharge can occur in common eye conditions such as acute conjunctival hyperaemia and inflammation, but actual bleeding from conjunctiva (or bloody tears) as an isolated phenomenon is exceptionally rare. The differential diagnosis of bloody tears includes severe anemia, jaundice, vascular tumors, Osler-Weber-Rendu disease (hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia) hemophilia and other coagulopathies.

Other causes reported are vicarious menstruation, conjunctival manipulation for follicle expression in trachoma, clinical treatment of conjunctiva with silver nitrate and epistaxis (nose bleeds) with retrograde blood stream into conjunctiva through puncta lacrimalia.

For Inman, the explanation of his bloody tears remains a mystery at this time.

Bloody tears (haemolacria); Indian Journ of Ophthalmology, Vol 35 (1), 1987, pp41-43; BK Ahluwalia, AK Khurana, S Sood
Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College Hospital, Rohtak 124 001, India