A Tennessee Man has been crying tears of blood at least once or twice a week for the past seven years and he is finally coming forward to talk about the strange phenomenon.
Michael Spann, 29, of Antioch, TN, first noticed this strange condition when he was just 22 years-old. As he was walking down the stairs he experienced a sudden onset headache that he likened to a feeling of a sledgehammer hitting him. It was nothing like he had ever felt before. As he was doubled over in excruciating pain he noticed a stream of blood coming from his nose, mouth, and, what was most odd, his eyes.
For a while it was a condition that plagued him on a daily basis. All these years later he finds that he bleeds tears of blood at least once a week.
After more than $4,000 in lab work, doctors and specialists are absolutely mystified and are unable to come up with a cause for the blood tears. According to Dr. James “Chris” Fleming of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, the condition is quite rare and the invasive procedures that would require a proper diagnoses are filled with risk. Fleming says that there is likely a cause, but since the tear duct is so small, only about one to three millimeters in diameter, the risk is just too high. In order to get in the tear duct to properly examine it from end to end would risk scarring and possibly leave Spann permanently disabled.
Dr. Fleming has studied several patients with a condition called haemolacria. The condition causes one to produced tears that are partially made up of blood. The tears can appear to be simply red tinged or they can actually look like you are crying blood. Haemolacria may be an indication of a more serious problem such as a tumor, or something as benign as bacterial conjunctivitis. Another cause of haemolacria is injury to the eye. And in women it can be caused by hormones, such as what occurs in endometriosis.
The mysterious case of Michael Spann’s blood tears isn’t the first of its kind. Back in 2009, yet another Tennessean, Calvino Inman of Rockwood, TN, was reportedly crying blood tears more than three times a day. When he first discovered this medical mystery, Inman said he thought that he was dying. The boy claimed that the tears burned and would usually last for about 15 minutes. Inman was treated and diagnosed by Dr. Fleming.
Michael Spann’s blood tears have prevented him from finding work. He says that because of his unusual condition he has been let go from many jobs. Working in public is obviously out of the question. What’s worse, Spann, who is an aspiring artist who loves to sketch and has dreams of being a fashion designer, is unable to attend school. Hopefully his doctors will come up with a cure so that Spann can lead a normal life.
By: Mary Kay Love