Feeling something in her eye, Abby Beckley reached up expecting to find a stray eyelash.
Looking in the mirror, she saw it was instead something translucent, and worse, moving.
It was the summer of 2016 and the then-26 year old had spent the last few weeks working on a commercial salmon fishing boat in Alaska.
“My left eye just got really irritated and red, and my eyelid was droopy. I was getting migraines too, and I was like, ‘What is going on?'” she told CNN.
The mysterious object she ended up pulling from her eye turned out to be an eye worm.
“I looked at it, and it was moving. And then it died within about five seconds,” the now 28 year old told the news outlet.
She desperately searched the internet to find information. There was nothing. Her local doctor was also unable to give any answers.
“They said they had never seen anything like this and then I could see them moving across my eye at that point, too. There were so many,” she said.
She ended up finding – and pulling out – 14 of them over a three week period.
As the weeks passed, she began to get more worried. Could the worms affect her vision? What if they got into her brain?
When at the urge of concerned family and friends, she returned home to see a specialist in Portland, they were skeptical. It didn't help that the worms would often be scarce during her appointments.
"I felt one squiggle across my eye, and I told the doctors, 'You need to look right now!' I'll never forget the expression on their faces as they saw it move across my eye," she said.