Foreign Body

If you feel like something is stuck in your eye, blink a few times to see if it will come out on its own. Sometimes small particles of dust or eyelashes feel much bigger than they actually are, as the eye is an extremely sensitive organ. However, sometimes a foreign body can become embedded in the eye tissue. If blinking doesn’t free the object, follow these tips to avoid harming your eye.

Foreign body are of different types:

Penetrating foreign body

Penetrating foreign bodies are those which pierce through the outer layer and enter into the eyes. For example, metal and stone pieces.

Superficial foreign bodies

These types do not pierce into the eye rather they lie between the eye lid and cornea. This would give irritating effect.

Immediate things to do:

  • Examine the eye:
    After washing your hands, look into a mirror and gently pull down on the lower eyelid. Look up to examine the lower eye region. Repeat with the upper eyelid, looking down to examine the upper region. (If possible, have a friend help with this step, as it is difficult to examine your own eyes.)
  • Rinse the eye with water:
    Fill a clean cup with regular water. While holding the lower rim of the cup on the bone below your eye, pour the water directly into the eye. A water fountain also makes a good eyewash because it will run a steady stream of water into your eye, dislodging the foreign body.

If you get a superficial foreign body in your eye, first-aid treatment in the form of gentle rinsing with warm water is appropriate. An ‘eye bath’ can make this easier to do on your own, or you can get someone to help rinse the eye from the side, with you lying down.

Do not try to remove a foreign body with cotton buds, matchsticks or any other type of solid object. You could do more harm than good – go to the nearest casualty doctor or contact your GP’s surgery.

It is also advisable to consult a doctor if you think you’ve had a foreign body in your eye and it’s continuing to cause irritation.

If you think something has gone into your eye while you have been grinding or hammering, even if you have little in the way of pain or loss of vision, it is essential that you consult a doctor immediately and tell them about the circumstances of your injury.

Normally penetrating foreign bodies are removed with aid of an operation.