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A foreign object in the eye is any debris that has entered the eye from outside the body. It can be a speck of dust, your eyelash, a piece of fabric, or even a shard of metal. The source of the debris can be a variety of things that you might be using or near. 


Debris that gets onto the front of the eye cannot hide behind the eye. Still, the debris can induce scratches on the cornea.


Symptoms of Having Foreign Objects in Your Eye


When you have a foreign object in the eye, you might experience the following:


  • Irritation and sharp pain

  • Feeling that there is something in your eye

  • Red and watery eyes

  • Get a scratchy feeling when you blink

  • Loss of vision or blurred vision

  • Discomfort from bright lights

  • Bleeding


Complications Caused by Foreign Bodies in the Eyes


  • Scarring and Infection – If not removed, debris in the eye can cause scarring and infection; this can be a shard of metal or a piece of wood. When the foreign object is removed, the symptoms should quickly ease

  • Corneal Abrasions – Debris in the eye can cause scratches on the cornea. If the debris is trapped under the eyelids, it can scratch when you blink. Most often, abrasions on the cornea heal after 48 hours

  • Eye Ulcer – When debris in your eye causes a scratch, it may fail to heal within a given time. It may cause an ulcer to form in place of the scratch. The ulcer can lead to an abscess or affect your vision

  • Penetration – Sometimes, debris might penetrate the surface of the eye. The debris that gets into the eyeball can cause serious injury. It can also lead to blindness




When you go into a hospital, the doctor will observe you first. If the damage is extensive, they will arrange for you to see an ophthalmologist; if not, they will treat you. Next, they will numb your eye using anesthetic eye drops. 


They will then gently remove the foreign object. They might clean your eye using a saline solution to clean away any dirt left. X-rays might inspect if any object has entered the eyeball or the orbit. Then, your eye is patched to let it rest and heal.


Home Treatment


If you are at home, refrain from pressing or rubbing the eye. Also, do not use anything to try and get the object out. Wash your hands and use a bright light to inspect the eye. The most efficient method to remove it will depend on where it is.


When Do I Need Further Medical Help?

You should visit your doctor urgently if you start experiencing sharp pain and wateriness after removing the object. Also, visit the doctor if you develop blurry vision or start seeing stars. Finally, make sure to see your doctor if you find bloody fluid coming out of your eyeball.


For more on what to do if you get a foreign body in your eye, contact Berris Optical at our office in Rocky River, Ohio. You can call us at (440) 571-7100 to book an appointment today.

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