Foreign Bodies in your Eye, can be Minor or Devastating
So, you feel like there’s something in your eye.
Let’s start with a very important question. How did it happen, and when? Did it fall or get blown into your eye, or was it driven in at high speed (Tools)?
Next…, is it metal, organic, or inert? All three have different outcomes and ramifications. Also, is it stuck or embedded on the corneal surface? Or up under your upper lid? All have different procedure techniques to remove the foreign body.
Minor foreign bodies initially are just lying on the surface of the cornea and can be irrigated off with a stream of saline. The same goes for debris under your upper lid after you flip the eyelid and observe the foreign body.
Others, that have been there for several days are now instead of just irritating you, really getting painful. They will change your plans for the day because you’re coming in to see an eye doctor asap!!
These have to be physically removed with a corneal spud (Dr ‘s Tool) using anesthetic and or a corneal burr (a tiny grinding tool) for removing residual rust if it was metal.
If the foreign body is inert (aluminum, brass, glass, sand, plastic, things that won’t react with your body) they may have to still be physically removed but leave no remnants or rust. These are generally the easier foreign bodies.
Organic or plant matter can cause a fungal infection, so you need to be a good historian when remembering how it happened and what it may be.
High powered tools (Grinder/Lathe etc.) can drive a FB right through your cornea or globe and into your internal eye structure which is extremely dangerous. You may lose your eye if it’s not found and removed immediately. What’s important to remember is this…these particles can be very tiny but almost like a small bullet going through your eye. A lot of the time it’s a quick sting and the pain is gone that quick, but it usually is a very hot tiny spark of metal and it just entered your eye cauterizing the wound and you don’t even realize it.
This is an immediate referral to a Retina Specialist to get it removed. So, if you think you just got hit by something and you were using a high-speed tool. Come in, please. Better safe than sorry.
Always, Always, always wear safety glasses because it happens that quick.
Most of the time the treatment is removal, antibiotic drops for a few days and your healed. If it’s an intraocular FB in your eye, you will need surgery to remove it.
Doctor James P. Wilson works at Bond Eye Associates as an Optometrist. Please call Bond Eye Associates to schedule your yearly health vision exam with confidence knowing that they have been a trusted, locally owned, medical practice for over 37 years. They are accepting new patients in both of their locations: Peoria and Pekin, IL. Please call 309-692-2020 or click here to schedule an appointment.