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Foreign Bodies in the Eye

What are foreign bodies?

Foreign bodies refer to any objects that are in the eye that are not meant to be there. The foreign object may be in the conjunctiva (a thin membrane that covers the actual eye) or in the cornea (the clear, dome-shaped surface that covers the front of the eye).

What are the most common types of foreign bodies in the eye?

The most common foreign bodies in the conjunctiva include the following:

The most common foreign bodies in the cornea are pieces of metal or rusty objects.

What are the symptoms of foreign bodies in the eye?

The following are the most common symptoms of foreign bodies in the eye. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

The symptoms of foreign bodies in the eye may resemble other eye conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

How is a foreign body in the eye diagnosed?

Diagnosis is usually made after a complete medical history and physical examination of your child's eye. Local anesthetic drops in the eye may be used in order to examine the child. In addition, your child's physician may also order a fluorescein stain to help confirm the diagnosis and evaluate if there is an abrasion to the cornea. A fluorescein stain is done by placing a small amount of a dye in your child's eye. This does not hurt your child. A special light is then used to look at the surface of the cornea to see any abrasion or scratch.

Treatment of a foreign body in the eye:

Specific treatment for a foreign body in the eye will be determined by your child's physician based on:

Treatment may include:

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