Our eyes are remarkable organs. It’s truly amazing to think that so many different parts can come together in just the right combinations to help us see things properly. Still, for all the power our eyes possess, they’re not invincible because they’re among the most exposed parts on our entire bodies. It’s no secret that invaders try to attack our eyes on a daily basis. Usually, the eye can withstand such attacks. Sometimes though, an invader will manage to find its way inside and create trouble. This trouble can range from a minor nuisance to a real health emergency. Therefore, it’s important to know what to do in case you get foreign bodies in the eye.
What is a Foreign Body?
As its name suggests, a foreign body is simply anything that enters the eye from outside the body that doesn’t naturally belong there. These can range from a speck of dust to a tiny piece of metal to a grain of sand. Although these invaders can damage any part of our eyes, they’ll most likely cause damage to the cornea or conjunctiva. Occasionally, a foreign body will deeply penetrate the eye (this is known as an intraocular object) which is more problematic because of the potential for permanent damage. So, time is always of the essence when you’re dealing with this condition.
You can usually feel if a foreign body enters your eye. Some other symptoms include:
- Burning or irritation in the eyes
- Eye pain
- Excessive tearing
- Excessive blinking
- Redness or bloodshot eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Difficulty opening the eye
- Discharge of blood or fluid (more common with intraocular objects)
Many times, tiny objects get into our eyes due to the wind or accidents with machinery.
Removing a foreign body is a delicate matter that greatly depends on the type of invader and how deeply embedded it’s in your eye. For things like a grain of sand or dust, you can usually flush these out yourself by carefully treating your eyes with a little water. However, for more serious cases (especially those involving intraocular objects), you should seek immediate emergency medical treatment. Northside Eyecare provides emergency treatment for this and many other situations. Contact our professionals at Northside immediately if you think you have a foreign body in your eye.
Some precautions to observe before you receive a doctor’s examination:
- Restrict eye movement
- Bandage the affected eye with a clean cloth or gauze
- Do not rub or put pressure on the eye
Your eye care professional has various tools that can help detect, set up, and carefully remove even the most troublesome intraocular objects from your eyes. Again, it’s important to remember that time is of the essence when dealing with this issue because the longer you wait, the greater the chance that you’ll get a serious eye infection which can result in permanent damage and even vision loss.
While we may not be able to control the existence of foreign bodies, we can control how we prepare for them. Usually, protective eye equipment like safety goggles is all we need to keep invaders out. Also, we can try to avoid windy environments as much as possible. By taking these precautionary steps, your eyes are sending a very clear message – “No foreign bodies allowed”.