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Ways of treating a foreign object in the eye

A foreign object in the eye is anything that enters the eye usually particles of dust or a metal shard. It affects the cornea or the conjunctiva.

Foreign objects are usually found under the eyelids or on the surface of the eye. Laborers, fitters and turners, woodcutters and boilermakers are susceptible to this condition.

Foreign objects that enter the eyes can result to minor scratches on the cornea but sometimes can damage the vision or infections.

Symptoms

  • A sensation that something is inside the eye
  • Pressure and discomforts
  • Eye pain
  • Severe tearing
  • Bloodshot eye or redness
    foreign object in the eye

    A sensation that something is inside the eye is an indication.

  • Excessive blinking
  • Pain when looking at the light

Causes

The most common objects that enters the eyes includes sawdust, dried mucus, dirt, cosmetics, sand, eyelashes, glass shards, contact lenses and particles of metal. It can be caused by blowing of the wind or falling debris. Metal or glass is a result of explosions or accidents using tools such as drills, hammers and lawnmowers. Objects entering the eyes at high speed can cause severe injuries to the eyes.

Treatment

  • Avoid rubbing the eye to prevent further pushing the debris under the eyelids or scratch the eyeball and cause further irritations.
  • Blink the eyes very fast to eliminate any debris that is stuck in the eyes. More blinking of the eye increases the chance of removing the particles.
  • In a flat container filled with water, immerse the affected eye or eyes in the container. While the eye is submerged in water, open and close the eyes at least a few times to get rid of any particles that are stuck in the eye. Another alternative is using an eyecup is also good for the condition. Sometimes a small particle is stuck under the eyelids, pull up the upper lid of the eye and stretch it over the lower lid. Roll the eyes to loosen and flush out the particle. Repeat the process if the particle is still stuck inside.
  • Open the eye and place them under running water to flush out the particles.
  • Wet a cotton cloth in water, and then gently press the cloth on the sides of the eyes to remove the particle. Avoid rubbing the cornea to prevent further irritations and worsen the condition.

Tips

  • Wear proper protective eyewear when working with grinders, saws, hammers or power tools, handling dangerous or toxic chemicals and using a lawn mower
  • Wear safety glasses when working especially in windy or dusty areas and plenty of flying debris.
  • Avoid going near a person who is grinding or drilling
  • Wear protective glasses when playing tennis or squash
  • Wear glasses or goggles with close-fitting shields on the sides.

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