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Removal of a foreign body from the eye

See when you need the help of a specialist.

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A foreign body in the eye is usually a speck that has entered the eye and irritates the conjunctiva, causing pain and tearing. In most cases, home treatments are enough, but sometimes the help of a specialist is necessary .

The foreign bodies that most often find their way into our eye are particles of sand or other small pollutants from the environment, which are not very dangerous. The situation is much more serious when a foreign body enters the eye with great force and penetrates the surface of the cornea, such as during construction work (metal filings or pieces of wood), or as a result of an accident. Then the help of a specialist is necessary.

What are the symptoms of a foreign body in the eye?

If symptoms occur, it is important to consult an ophthalmologist, who will conduct an appropriate examination of the eye and take appropriate action to remove the foreign body and relieve symptoms. Improper removal or leaving a foreign body in the eye can lead to complications such as infections, corneal ulcers or damage to the eye’s structures. It is therefore crucial to act quickly and appropriately.

Possible symptoms of a foreign body in the eye:

  • Feeling of burning, itching, scratching or pain in the eye,
  • The feeling of the presence of a foreign body in the eye,
  • excessive tearing,
  • Reddening of the protein of the eye,
  • Hypersensitivity to light (photophobia),
  • A noticeable foreign object in the field of view,
  • The pulsating sensation or displacement of an object in response to eye movement,
  • reduced visual acuity.


Foreign body in the eye – first aid

What can be done if a foreign body enters the eye? Superficial contamination can be removed by home means – you can remove it very gently with the corner of a sterile gauze, or you can rinse the eye with saline. If the discomfort persists, it is then worth visiting an ophthalmologist to check whether the flesh has been removed and whether any complications have developed. If you feel relief after removing the speck and your symptoms disappear, there is no need to visit a specialist.

The situation is different when a foreign body penetrates the cornea or gets under the upper eyelid. Then it is necessary to visit a specialist.

What does the removal of a foreign body from the eye by a specialist look like?

Under the magnification of a slit lamp, the ophthalmologist removes the foreign body with a special tool. With the slit lamp, it is possible to check the structure of the eye very carefully for foreign body residue. This procedure is performed under local anesthesia.

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