Foreign Body in the Eye
What are the treatments for the injury?
Treatment of foreign bodies can begin at the site of the injury.
Chemicals or small debris in the eye may be removed by rinsing the eye
thoroughly with water. Some good options for rinsing the eye include:
a glass or other container full of water
a water fountain
The eyelids must be held apart so that all parts of the eye are washed. This
washing must be done within minutes of the injury. The corner of a facial
tissue or the tip of a cotton applicator may be used to remove any remaining
small debris. The bottom of a paper cup can be taped over the eye to protect it
from further injury.
Large foreign bodies or metal objects should be removed by the
healthcare provider. The eye may be numbed with a local anesthetic. A cotton-tipped applicator
moistened with saline or salt water may be used to remove the material. If this
does not work, the object can be removed, under the microscope, with a small
instrument. Once the object has been removed, antibiotic drops or ointments may
be prescribed to prevent infection.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Drops, ointments, and oral antibiotics may cause allergic reactions or
What happens after treatment for the injury?
Most of the time, treatment is effective, and the person has no
long-term effects from the injury. Severe injuries, however, may cause
permanent visual impairments
Sometimes the injured area will not heal, and the person will have recurrent
corneal injuries. Antibiotic drops and rewetting drops to keep the cornea wet
will usually help the eye heal. Frequent rewetting of the cornea is necessary,
over months, to allow this area to heal completely. Any new or worsening
symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.