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Foreign Body
Anyone who has felt as if there was a grain of sand in his or her eye has probably had a foreign body. Foreign bodies might be superficial, or in more serious injuries, they may penetrate the eye. Fortunately, the cornea has such an incredible reflex tearing system that most superficial foreign bodies are naturally flushed out with our natural tears. But if the object is more deeply embedded, medical attention is required.


SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
The symptoms of a foreign body may range from irritation to intense, excruciating pain. This is dependent on the location, material, and type of injury.

In rare situations where an object penetrates the eye, there may be few or no symptoms. If you have no symptoms, but suspect an object may have penetrated your eye, seek medical attention. The entry point of an intraocular foreign body is sometimes nearly invisible. Depending on their location, foreign bodies inside the eye may or may not cause pain or decreased vision.

Possible Symptoms
(Not all inclusive)
• Mild to extreme irritation
• Scratching
• Burning
• Soreness
• Intense pain
• Redness
• Tearing
• Light sensitivity
• Decreased vision
• Difficulty opening the eye
Foreign Body in Eye 



DETECTION AND DIAGNOSIS
The evaluation includes vision testing along with careful examination of the surface of the eye with a slit lamp microscope. When a superficial foreign body is suspected, the upper lid should be gently turned up to check underneath for trapped particles. If the foreign body is difficult to see even with a microscope, the doctor may instill a drop of fluorescein dye to highlight the area.

An examination inside the eye with ophthalmoscopy may also be indicated depending on the severity of the injury.

TREATMENT
If a foreign object becomes embedded within the cornea, conjunctiva, or sclera, a medical professional must remove it. Attempting to remove it yourself is dangerous and could result in a permanent scar that could affect your vision.

Superficial foreign bodies are usually treated in the office. After numbing the eye with topical anesthetic, the particle is carefully removed using a microscope. Afterward, antibiotic medications are generally prescribed to prevent infection. In some cases, foreign bodies become trapped underneath the eyelid. It is extremely important to examine under the eyelid for any remnant particles.

Intraocular foreign bodies typically must be removed in the operating room using a microscope and special instruments designed for working inside the eye. These injuries are often vision threatening and should be treated quickly.

Wearing appropriate safety glasses is the best way to prevent this type of injury. Protecting the eyes is especially important when working with machinery that could cause chips of wood or metal to splinter, as well lawn equipment such as hedge and line trimmers.

If a particle of wood, glass, metal or any other foreign substance becomes trapped in your eye, here are some tips:

• Do not touch or rub your eye! This can embed the object more deeply, making it more difficult to remove.
• Keep your eye closed as much as possible. Blinking only increases the irritation.
• Do not try to remove the object yourself. This is very dangerous and may make the problem worse.
• Seek professional help immediately.
• Tell your doctor what you were doing at the time of the injury, or what materials you may have been working with.

The McMann Eye Institute is a comprehensive ophthalmology practice
offering a full spectrum of vision correction and treatment services.

McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii


McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii    McMann Eye Institute of Honolulu, Hawaii  
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The McMann Eye Institute understands how important your vision is to your life. Whether restoring, preserving, or improving sight, our eye doctors are dedicated to optimizing your vision so you can live your best. With doctors that specialize in LASIK, cataracts, glaucoma, diabetic eye care, and cornea surgical treatments, we offer our patients an extensive range of eye care services on the island of O’ahu, Honolulu, Hawaii.

In addition to performing these life changing procedures, we can also help you with simple vision problems and provide preventative vision care for you and your family. Trusted by both patients and doctors, our excellent reputation speaks for itself as we strive to provide the highest quality care in a professional and compassionate environment.

OFFICE HOURS: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m  |  Saturdays 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.  |  Sundays & Holidays Closed



McMann Eye Institute The Queen’s Medical Center
West O’ahu
91-2139 Ft. Weaver Rd. Suite 202
Ewa Beach, HI 96706
Phone: (808) 677-2733

McMann Eye Institute proudly serves Ewa Beach, HI and the Oahu areas of Honolulu, Waipahu, Aiea, Wahiawa, Kaneohe, Maunawili, Kahaluu, Kapolei, Iroquois Point and the remaining Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific Rim.

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Michael A. McMann, MD