Eye, Foreign Body In

General Illness Information

Medical Term:


Common Name: None Specified

Description: Embedding of a small speck of metal, wood, stone, sand, paint or other foreign material in the eye.

Causes: Airborne foreign material accidentally gets into the eye

Prevention: Wear protective eye coverings (guards or spectacles), if your occupation or hobby involves the risk of eye injury. Spectacles made of polycarbonate plastic lenses with a minimum center thickness of 3 millimeters, and industrial strength frames are considered most protective.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Severe pain, irritation and redness in the eye;
  • Foreign body visible with the naked eye (usually). Sometimes the foreign body is very small, trapped under the eyelid and invisible except with medical examination;
  • Scratchy feeling with blinking;
  • Increased tearing.

Risk Factors

  • Windy weather;
  • Occupations or activity, such as carpentry or grinding in which fine particles of wood or other materials fly loose in the air.

Diagnosis & Treatment

Diagnosis is based on history and clinical examination. Eye examination may include staining the eye with a harmless substance (fluorescein) to outline the object and examine the eye through a magnifying lens

General Measures:

  • Don’t rub the eye;
  • Keep the eye closed, if possible, until you are examined;
  • Ask someone else to drive you to the doctor’s office. Don’t try to drive yourself;
  • The procedure to remove the object will be determined by its size and location within the eye;
  • An eye patch will  be applied to keep the eye closed;
  • Follow-up examination should be done in 1 to 2 days.


  • Antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection;
  • Pain relievers may be prescribed;
  • Local anesthetic eye drops.


Resume your normal activities gradually after removal of the foreign body and the patch, if one is applied. Don’t drive with a patch on one eye.


No special diet.

Possible Complications :

  • Infection, especially if the foreign body is not removed completely;
  • Severe, permanent vision damage caused by penetration of deeper eye layers.


Most objects can be removed simply under local anesthesia in a doctor’s office or emergency room.


Nothing Specified.

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