Ryan Jaslow ,CBS News
A Tennessee man reportedly cries blood weekly but can't find a diagnosis of what's behind his mysterious condition.
The Tennessean reports
Michael Spann of Antioch, Tenn. experiences bleeding 'tears' from his
eyes -- also out of his nose and mouth -- along with painful headaches.
The condition first started at age 22 and used to occur daily; now,
nearly seven years later, he says the bleeding happens up to two times a
The condition has made it hard for him to work. "Any job I
get I lose because my eyes start bleeding and they can't keep me on,"
Spann told the paper. "Obviously, I can't be a waiter and work in any
public thing because you are bleeding."
In 2009, another Tenn. resident, 15-year-old Calvino Inman of Rockwood, reported crying tears of blood
to three times a day. He and his mother Tammy told the "The Early Show"
at the time, the tears burn and could last between 15 minutes to an
"Honestly I thought I was going to die," the otherwise healthy teen said when he first experienced an episode.
The condition is referred to as haemolacria, or bloody tears, but the cause of remains unknown.
was treated by Dr. James Fleming, an ophthalmologist at the University
of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, his mom said at the time.
Fleming published a 2004 paper in the journal Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery on four cases of spontaneous bloody tears in one boy and three girls aged 6 to 14 years.
of these were relatively young patients," Fleming, who is not currently
involved in Spann's care, told The Tennessean. "As they matured, the
bleeding decreased, subsided and then stopped."
He added it's difficult for doctors to confirm causes of the
condition because scopes and other invasive procedures may further
damage the tear ducts.
Haemolacria is more common in people who have experienced extreme trauma or had a head injury, according to a 2010 newsletter from UT Health Science Center, but Calvino's case in particular was rare because he had no obvious cause.
continues to seek answers. His mother Peggy told the paper he has
undergone more than $4,000 in lab work but headache specialists could
not determine a cause. She says she reached out to The Tennessean to
raise awareness of his condition.