What are worms?
There are many different species of parasites called worms that can infect humans and live and reproduce inside them. These include various types of roundworms and flat worms.
How are they transmitted?
Parasitic worm infections can be picked up through contact with soil that contains contaminated faeces. This means that those who work or have recreation outdoors are more likely to be affected. Children are particularly susceptible because they tend to play outside and then put their hands in their mouths. Worms may also be taken into the body through contaminated food or water.
Though these infections usually affect the colon, they can spread to other organs including the sensory organs. Worm infections tend to be more common in developing countries as there may not be an adequate sewage system to dispose of waste safely. Certain species of fly lay their eggs inside living hosts, which can result in maggots growing in areas such as the nasal cavity. This is more likely to happen to particularly vulnerable people and in parts of the world with a tropical climate.
How are they diagnosed?
Certain types of parasitic infection may be able to be identified through the observation of symptoms, especially if larvae are visible. Blood tests can help to diagnose a worm infection by assessing whether or not there are antibodies in the blood. Taking an x-ray may help to confirm some cases and will help to show the extent of any damage to the body tissues.
What effect can they have on physical health?
Roundworm infections will usually affect the intestines and only cause mild symptoms, if any at all. However, in extreme cases, infection may spread to other parts of the body such as the eyes. This rare infection is known as ocular toxocariasis. This can cause eye pain, redness and blurred vision, possibly even leading to permanent vision loss. The skin may also be affected and show this by developing a rash and itchiness.
Infestations of fly larvae in the sensory organs can result in very unpleasant symptoms. A case study involving screwworms in the nose was diagnosed as nasal myiasis and led to bleeding from the nose, inflammation, aching and breathing difficulties. Symptoms also may spread to the mouth, causing redness and pain. If treatment is not administered quickly, there may be extensive tissue damage.
These infections may not be immediately obvious as it can take time for symptoms to appear.
What effect can they have on mental health?
Infection with parasitic worms can cause very distressing symptoms, especially when the sensory organs are involved. Serious cases can result in permanent damage such as impaired vision. This can cause great emotional distress, as the effects may not be reversible with treatment.
Individuals with existing mental health problems are more likely to suffer from a parasitic infection. This is due to lifestyle choices and a lack of self-care that may make them especially vulnerable. However, this can also work the other way around, as an existing parasitic infection may make a person more likely to suffer from mental health issues. For example, toxocariosis infection has been associated with an increased risk of developing symptoms of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. This supports the view that parasite infection can be a contributing factor in psychiatric problems.
What is the current treatment?
Roundworm infections are usually prescribed an anthelmintic medication to kill the parasites. However, cases in the eye are treated using steroid medication, though surgery may be necessary if there is a lot of damage. Surgical removal of larvae is needed in the case of an infestation. Bioresonance therapy with a BICOM® machine can support the immune system and detoxification systems in eradicating parasites from the body.
Worm infections are not uncommon and can be picked up from contaminated soil. In rarer cases, infection may spread to the sensory organs, causing distressing symptoms. Antiparasitic medication is usually effective in killing parasites, though different treatment may be needed, depending on which area is affected. Bioresonance can be an effective complementary therapy by helping the body to dispose of toxins and infections. Minor surgery may be needed to resolve the problems caused by some parasites.