Know Foreign Object In The Eye, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

Know Foreign Object In The Eye Meaning, Reason, Symptoms, Treatment, Prevention

This condition occurs when an object that comes from outside the body enters the eye.


This condition occurs when an object that comes from outside the body enters the eye. This object can be anything, both dust particles, metal, and so on.

Foreign bodies are one of the most common causes of corneal injury and other eye diseases. The severity of damage to the eye depends on the size of the foreign body, the speed at which it enters, and the type of object itself.

If a foreign object gets inside, it must be removed immediately. Letting it drag on will aggravate the disease, can even cause blindness. When a foreign body enters the eye, the following conditions will occur:

  • Mechanical effect
    Foreign objects that enter will penetrate the cornea, so that they can creep into the anterior chamber of the eye. If the object is small, it will settle in the corner of the eye chamber. However, if the object continues to go inside, it will penetrate the iris.

If it hits the lens of the eye, it will cause cataracts. If it reaches the retina, you will see a thick white liquid and deposits of red blood cells on the retina. This situation can damage the retina and cause blindness.

  • Infection
    When a foreign object enters the eye, there is a risk of inflammation and infection. Foreign bodies usually contain germs, and the eye is a good medium for the development of germs.

After germs enter, the tissue around the eye will begin to become infected, and this can cause inflammation. Infection that is left too long will cause complications in the form of blindness.

  • Changes in eye tissue

The entry of certain objects can leave permanent scars, and cause changes in the development of the eye tissue.


The entry of a foreign object into the eye can cause a number of complications, such as:

  • Keratitis: Inflammation of the lining of the eye’s cornea.
  • Corneal ulcers: There are open sores on the corneal lining of the eye.
  • Traumatic cataract: A cataract caused by the entry of objects into the lens.
  • Perforation: The rupture of the eyeball due to sharp objects or complications of an open wound on the cornea that is not treated properly.


Foreign bodies in the eye can be known through interviews between doctors and patients and physical examinations. The doctor will ask about the patient’s activity, time, and how the object entered the eye. Because these things are very important to establish the diagnosis.

Meanwhile, the physical examination that is usually carried out is:

  • General/subjective examination: Examination of the patient’s visual acuity, to determine whether or not there is a decrease in visual function. However, usually foreign objects do not reduce vision function. Unless the foreign object is a chemical.
  • Objective examination: This examination is carried out to see if there are any abnormalities around the eyes, such as red eyes, bleeding around the eyes, swelling around the eyelids, and whether a foreign body is visible lodged in the cornea. The doctor will also check the condition of the eyelids, cornea, anterior chamber, pupils, lens, eyeball movement, and so on.
  • Special examination: Orbital radiographic examination or CT scan is sometimes needed to assess the degree of injury, and if a foreign body is suspected in the eye.


The following are the symptoms and signs that will occur if there is a foreign object in the eye:

1. Extra ocular

Is the damage that occurs in the cornea. Symptoms that are felt are:

  • Sensation of having a foreign body in the eye. This will make you want to blink constantly
  • Uncomfortable feeling
  • Glare when looking at the light
  • Excessive tear production
  • Red eye
  • Severe pain in the eye

2. Intraocular

Is the damage that occurs in the deeper parts of the cornea, such as the iris and lens. This situation can be caused by a hard blow. For example in an explosion, or it can be a sharp object that stabs the eyeball. Symptoms that are felt are fluid or blood coming out of the eye.


Do the following if you think you have a foreign object in your eye:

  • Do not rub or press on the eyeball.
  • Do not use tools, such as tweezers and cotton buds, to remove the object from the eye.
  • Limit eye movement.
  • Bandage the eye with a clean cloth or sterile gauze.
  • If the object is too large, use a cloth aid to help cover the eyes.
  • If there is a puncture by a sharp object such as a knife, do not remove it.
  • If exposed to liquids or chemicals, wash with running water for 1-2 minutes.
  • If faced with the above conditions, immediately go to the hospital to get help.

Treatment of foreign bodies in the eye aims to reduce pain, prevent infection, and prevent permanent damage to function. If it is light and only limited to the cornea, the doctor will remove the object with a cotton swab and a sterile needle tip with the help of a special light.

In severe cases such as sharp object punctures, surgery is needed as soon as possible to handle it. The doctor will also give pain medication to reduce pain. If needed, antibiotics will also be given to prevent infection.

To avoid getting foreign objects into the eyes, wear eye protection when working with carpentry objects, such as saws, lawnmowers, hammers, and grinders. Do the same when working with chemicals and riding a motorcycle.


Usually, the cause of a foreign object entering the eye is a metal object. Examples: gold, silver, tin, zinc, nickel, aluminum, copper, and iron.

In addition, non-metallic objects such as contact lenses, makeup tools, stones, glass, clothing materials, and eyelashes, can also be a cause. Finally, be careful when interacting with chemicals, such as soaps, detergents, acids and bases.

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