Eye Foreign Body

ExitCare ImageIt is common during physical activity for a foreign body to enter and stay in the eye. This may result in scratching (abrasion) of the eye, vision loss, eye pain, or the sensation of an object in the eye, causing teardrops to develop. Wearing eye protection significantly decreases the chance of a foreign body entering the eye. However, athletes often neglect to wear eye protection.

SYMPTOMS

  • Irritation when blinking.

  • Decreased vision.

  • Eye pain.

  • Swelling of eye lids.

CAUSES

  • Contact between finger and the eye.

  • Contact between athletic equipment and the eye.

  • Dirt and grass in the eye.

  • Windblown debris in the eye.

  • Insect in the eye.

RISK INCREASES WITH:

  • Windy and dusty conditions.

  • Lack of protective eye gear.

  • Lack of protective headgear, including face masks.

PREVENTION

  • Avoid use of guns or toys that release projectiles or air.

  • Wear protective eyewear, such as polycarbonate lenses.

  • Wear protective headgear.

TREATMENT

Before seeking medical attention, you may flush the eyes out with lukewarm water. This may flush the foreign body out of the eye. If flushing does not work, you need to see a caregiver for a thorough eye exam. The caregiver will examine your eye for a foreign body, and for the possibility of a penetrating body within the globe of the eye. If your caregiver is not able to remove the foreign body in his or her office, surgery may be necessary. Finally, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drops may be prescribed. Depending on the injury, a rigid shield or eye patch may be applied.