Any substance like wood chip, dust particle, insect, tiny piece of wood that gets into the eye qualifies to be an alien substance. These substances are normally found on the surface of the eye or under the eyelid. Those who are at risk include labourers, woodcutters, boilermakers, fitters and more.
Foreign bodies tend to extremely irritating. It may get stuck on the cornea causing a drooping, watery, red eye. To an extent, if not treated immediately, it may lead to an eye injury which is not that much painful but associated with reduced vision. But that happens in very rare circumstances.
What are the symptoms of foreign bodies in eyes?
The warning signs include:
- Acute pain in the eye accompanied by burning sensation, itchiness and frustration.
- A strange feeling of something in the eye.
- Redness, water dropping from the eye.
- Feeling of scratchiness when blinking.
- Blurry or reduced vision in the affected eye.
- Unable to clearly see in the bright light.
Are there any complications?
Yes there are. In fact, any injury comes with some sort of minor or major complications. Here’s look at some of the complexities attributed to alien bodies in eyes:
- Infection: If the foreign substance is not quickly attended by an ophthalmologist, chances are it may lead to infection and scarring. For instance, when metal object gets into the eye, it reacts with the eye’s natural tears forming rust. This is visible as a dark spot leading to scar which in-turn disrupts the vision. Once removed, the eye heals quickly.
- Scratches: An alien object has the ability to scratch the cornea. With appropriate care, most corneal scratches can heal in two days. In rare circumstances, a scratch to the cornea may lead to a distant problem called recurrent corneal erosion, which may occur years after the original injury.
- Ulcer: Sometimes corneal abrasions don’t heal leading to an ulcer formation on the surface of the eye. In such case, a professional opinion of an eye specialist is considered beneficial.
- Eye dissemination: It depends on the object that flew in the eye, but sometimes it can cut through the eye and enter the eyeball, causing serious injury and to extent blindness.
How an ophthalmologist diagnose the problem?
- Phony alien substances: The eye specialist acts on the information provided by you. If you tell him something has hit your eye, he will use fluorescein stain to examine the eye which helps detect the presence of a foreign material. The object, if any, can be removed using a cotton bud, although a small needle may be needed to clear any leftover particles. This process is carried out using local anaesthesia and does not causes any harm.
- Trenchant alien substances: This also depends on what information you provide to the eye doctor. He will go in for a full eye examination if there is a possible injury to the eye which in case can happen while carrying out high-risk activity. Your vision may get affected. Scans may be performed to assess the presence of any foreign particle inside the eye.