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Symptoms and Signs of Eye Foreign Body

Doctor's Notes on Eye Foreign Body

Anything that gets in the eye is medically termed a foreign body. This can range from an eyelash to a metal shard and any other object that gets into the eye. Depending on what gets into the eye, or how an injury occurred, a foreign body may scratch or pierce the eye may simply irritate the eye and go away with no long-term problem, or it could cause serious injury such as a corneal abrasion.

Symptoms of a foreign body injury to the eye may not be immediately apparent. In some cases the symptoms of a foreign body in the eye may be intermittent. When symptoms of a foreign body injury to the eye occur they may include a sharp pain in the eye followed by burning, irritation, tearing, and redness; feeling that something is in the eye; a scratching sensation when blinking; blurred vision or vision loss in the affected eye; bleeding into the white part of the eye, which can be either a conjunctival hemorrhage or a subconjunctival hemorrhage; blood layering in front of your iris, the colored area of the eye, and behind the cornea, the clear dome on the front of the eye (called hyphema, which may be a sign of significant injury).

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Eye Foreign Body Symptoms

  • Sharp pain in the eye followed by burning, irritation, tearing, and redness
  • Feeling that something is in the eye when moving the eye around while it is closed
  • Scratching sensation over the eye when blinking
  • Blurred vision or vision loss in the affected eye
  • Bleeding into the white part of the eye, which can be either a conjunctival hemorrhage or a subconjunctival hemorrhage. (Sometimes, this is associated with a penetrating injury.)
  • Blood layering in front of your iris, the colored area of the eye, and behind the cornea, the clear dome on the front of the eye (This is called hyphema and is often a sign of significant injury.)

Eye Foreign Body Causes

Many eye injuries can be prevented. Something in the eye (a foreign body) is most often the result of improper or no eye protection while working in an environment that exposes one to small flying debris.

Common Eye Problems and Infections Slideshow

Common Eye Problems and Infections Slideshow

When it comes to signs of eye disease, Americans are blind to the facts. A recent survey showed that while nearly half (47%) of Americans worry more about going blind than losing their memory or their ability to walk or hear, almost 30% of those surveyed admitted to not getting their eyes checked.

The following slides take a look at some of the signs and symptoms of some of the most common eye diseases.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.