TOKYO, June 17 (UPI) —
Teens in Japan who practice the fad of eyeball licking, or oculolinctus, are risking an eye infection, eye expects say.
The craze — spread via YouTube, Tumblr and social media — is believed to have been started from a music video by Japanese emo band Born, The Guardian said.
The eyeballs are very sensitive in order to detect grit and particles, and some theorize the sensation of having them licked is similar to that of toe sucking, the British newspaper said.
However, the practice, also called worming, can lead to eye infection, or pink eye, and corneal scratching, which can lead to ulcers and blindness.
There is currently a rise in Japanese teen pink eye, or conjunctivitis, and eye-chlamydia.
Because the eyes are also sensitive to germs, eye experts suggest people not only to refrain from licking eyes, but from rubbing the eyes with hands.