Any material like dust, paint or sand that enters into the eye is considered to be a foreign object. Foreign bodies are of two types.
Superficial Foreign Bodies: These cling to the front of the eye or get entangled under one of the eyelids, without entering the eye.
Penetrating Foreign Bodies: These penetrate into the outer part of the eye (cornea or sclera) and then penetrate into the eye. These objects are generally traveling at high speed and are basically made of metal.
Non-perforating shallow foreign bodies are basically either moving or fall into the eye. This may happen, for example, when working under a car or when outside on a stormy day.
Penetrating eye injuries are probable when people are grinding or hammering. Under these conditions small pieces of metal traveling at great speed hit the eye and enter it via the outer layer of the eye.
Light foreign objects leave an uncomfortable state. The foreign object may be trapped within the cornea or the conjunctiva, leading to a red, watery and gritty eye.
The foreign object may have stuck under the upper eyelid, whereby each time the eye opens and closes the pain catapults.
Penetrating eye injuries, nonetheless they are much more severe injuries, paradoxically are mostly less painful. The vision may get fade, but this may not be always the case.
First aid for foreign object in the eye, in the form of soft rinsing with warm water is correct. An 'eye wash' can make this simpler to do on your own, or you can ask someone to assist you in washing the eye from the side, while you lying down.
Do not try to discard a foreign body using cotton buds, matchsticks or any other type of solid material. It may do more harm than good - go to the casualty doctor or contact your GP's surgery whichever is available in the close vicinity of your house.
It is also advisable to visit a doctor if you think you've had a foreign object in your eye and it's consistently causing irritation.
If you think something has entered your eye while hammering or grinding, even the pain is slight, it is necessary that you visit a doctor immediately and explain them about the incident of your injury.
If you explain your doctor you have felt something entering into your eye, he or she will check the eye using a fluorescein stain, which enables to determine any foreign object on the surface of the eye.
The eyelid will also be turned outwards so that the inner side of the lid can be checked and any foreign material can be discarded from that surface.
The material can be removed with a cotton bud nevertheless occasionally a tiny needle may be needed to pick any embedded particles from the eye. This is performed with local anesthetic drops and it does not hurt.
Wear protective glasses or goggles to inhibit foreign bodies making way into your eyes.
Be extra careful when:
running a grinder
using a sander
using a Strimmer
If you explain your doctor that you have received some eye injury while performing a high-risk activity for instance hammering, the eye will be examined completely.
Your vision will also be evaluated, and it is possible that it might have reduced. There may be proves that the pupil is harmed and there may be blood traces inside the eye.
If the eye lens has been damaged by the foreign object, there may be chance of an early cataract.
X-rays or scans may be needed if there is any probability there is foreign material inside the eye.
This will tend to cause continuous irritation and discomfort and may result in conjunctivitis. Often the foreign objects get buried and cease to cause problems, although leaving some scarring.
The harm done by an intraocular foreign object depends on:
the kind of object that forms the foreign object
the amount of harm it causes as it enters into the eyes
Metal foreign object having ingredient of iron lead a condition called 'siderosis', which simultaneously results to poor vision with the passing months and years.
Some other articles and vegetable parts may lead to fast destruction of the eye or infection within the eye.
It is quite easy for a small foreign object to make way into the eye and cause no visible damage, but it may result in bleeding within the eye, premature cataract developing or damage to the retina. Surgery could be the resort to correct this damage.
An operation is undertaken to remove foreign objects that have made its way inside the eye. This generally takes the form of a vitrectomy, which includes going into the eye to discard the foreign material with fine surgical forceps.
At the same time, any harm to the eye caused by the penetration of the foreign object can be repaired. This may engage removal of haemorrhage, removal of the lens, suturing of any defect of the globe or repair of retinal damage.
Superficial foreign objects are not vision-threatening injuries and the eye is prepared to make a full recovery. Nonetheless, if there are recurrent events, scarring can be witnessed which leads to deterioration of vision.
Penetrating foreign objects are mostly very serious and may result in blindness or loss of the eye, even after being treated properly.