Foreign Bodies In The Eye

Introduction

Foreign bodies are usually in the form of small particles of metal, vegetable matter or insects which embed on surface of the eye.
Occasionally a high velocity material, usually a metal could be propelled into the eye.

Clinical features

Foreign body may be embedded on the tarsal conjunctiva, bulbar conjunctiva, and cornea or inside the eye.
Intraocular foreign body (IOFB)

  • IOFBS may be in the anterior chamber, iris, lens or vitreous; on the retina or even behind the eyeball after doubly perforating the eye

Differential diagnoses

  • Corneal abrasion
  • Endophthalmitis

Complications

  • Perforation of the eye
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Retinal toxicity from a metallic IOFB

Investigation

  • Radiograph of the orbit with a localizing ring

Management

  • Removal of subtarsal, conjunctival or corneal foreign body under magnification e.g. slit lamp microscope

Caution

  • Ultrasound should be avoided in an eye with a perforating wound

Prevention

  • Appropriate protective goggles for sports, welding, game hunting etc