General Illness Information
EYE, FOREIGN BODY IN
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.
- 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
- 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 willÂ 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.