What would hurt my eyelids

Foreign body in the eye

Foreign bodies can injure the pain-sensitive cornea and lead to inflammation of the inside of the eye. Foreign bodies are all those elements that are in the eye but do not belong to the natural structure of the eye. They can be made of any material, come in a wide variety of sizes, and can be located in any part of the eye, depending on the type of injury and the portal of entry.

How do you get a foreign body in the eye?

Fortunately, the eye can count on excellent protective mechanisms: The eyebrows and eyelashes protect against liquid and solid substances that endanger the eye from above. The eyelids can completely cover the eye in a fraction of a second. Together with the lacrimal gland, the eyelids clean the surface of the eye.

Nevertheless, sometimes something gets into the eye due to carelessness or high speed.

What are the most common foreign bodies?

  • Metal splinters, for example from grinding work
  • Grains of sand and the like, by the wind
  • Eyelashes
  • insects
  • Plant parts of trees and bushes

In which part of the eye are there mostly foreign bodies?

Fortunately, most foreign bodies are found on the surface of the eye: the cornea, the conjunctiva and on the inside of the eyelids.

However, foreign bodies also penetrate the eyeball and cause a perforating (piercing) eye injury, an eye emergency.

What kind of complaints do you have?

  • The eye begins to water
  • Quick blink of an eye (wink)
  • An uncomfortable feeling that makes you rub your eyes with your fingers

These protective mechanisms of the eye are usually sufficient to remove the foreign body. Shortly afterwards, the symptoms subside.

If the foreign body penetrates the eye tissue and is stuck in the cornea, the following can also occur:

What can you do yourself?

If the symptoms persist and the foreign body cannot be rinsed out under running water, contact your ophthalmologist or an eye clinic immediately.

How does the ophthalmologist remove the foreign body?

First, a pain reliever (drip anesthetic) is put into the eye

With the help of a slit lamp microscope and fluorescein drops, which stain the foreign body and the small corneal wounds, the foreign body is identified. The doctor will examine whether the eye has been pierced (perforation).

If the doctor diagnoses a perforation, he will refer the patient to an eye clinic. Here he is admitted as an inpatient, as intensive antibiotic treatment and possibly even an operation is necessary.

If the doctor only finds a simple foreign object from the cornea, he will remove it under the slit lamp microscope. Due to the drip anesthesia, the patient does not feel any pain during the entire treatment.

An eye bandage is put on for a day or two and an antibiotic ointment is prescribed. To see if the wound has become infected or a corneal ulcer is developing, the eye will be checked again the next day.

++ More on the topic: The right eye care ++

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Dr. Felipe Siso

Status of medical information:

ICD-10: T15