The removal of superficial or embedded foreign bodies may be necessary in the following circumstances
- Superficial injury of the cornea
- Foreign body in the cornea
- Other injuries of the eye
- Foreign body in other sites on external eye
The cornea was inspected microscopically and the corneal foreign body removed
What is a corneal foreign body?
A foreign body in the cornea refers to when something gets embedded in your eye, such as a grain of sand, piece of plastic, or a splinter of glass, metal or wood. If the offensive object cannot be flushed out easily, it is critical to seek emergency eye care.
Is a foreign body in the eye dangerous?
Yes, it can be. If left untreated, it can lead to extreme pain and cause complications that threaten vision, such as ocular necrosis and infection. Patients are advised to visit their local eye care clinic or emergency department for corneal foreign body removal.
What are symptoms of a foreign body stuck on the external eye?
Generally, you will experience the sensation that something is in your eye, with pressure or discomfort. Common symptoms also include:
- Extreme tearing
- Bloodshot or red eyes
- Eye pain
- Excessive blinking
- Pain when you look at light
How does the eye doctor remove foreign bodies?
- The first thing that you will require is a thorough eye exam. Your eye doctor will carefully evaluate the general condition of your eye, the depth of the injury and the nature of the foreign object.
- Anesthesia is typically required in order to perform removal of a foreign body that has penetrated the cornea. Your eye doctor will apply a topical solution, such as numbing eye drops.
- Specialized devices are used to remove a foreign body from sites on the external eye. These include tools such as an eye spud, which has a blunt tip, and sterile needles. The procedure will generally be done with the aid of a slit lamp.
- Your eye doctor will prescribe topical antibiotics for use after the procedure, especially when the object caused more than a superficial injury to the cornea. These medications help prevent infection.
- Follow-up eye exams are often required to ensure that healing is normal and no complications arise. Sometimes scarring occurs, which will need to be evaluated for the ability to remove it.
There is a tiny piece of aluminum, steel, metal, etc. in my eye. Is this serious?
Foreign bodies in the eye can be quite damaging. For example, a small piece of metal in the eye can oxidize and rust, potentially causing infections and corneal scarring. Therefore, we will try to get a patient with something like this into our office as soon as possible.
How will you treat this condition?
We will apply a topical numbing medication to the cornea to ease your pain and make you more comfortable. We will remove the foreign body while your eye is under topical anesthetic, and we will check that there is no rust underneath the object. If there is, we will remove that as well. We will give you topical antibiotics and check up on you the next day and a week after to ensure that the healing process is going as smoothly as it can.
If the office is closed, our eye doctors are still on call 24/7 to help with eyecare & eye care emergencies.