Foreign body in the eye

There are a thousand and one reasons to receive a foreign body in the eye, not because there is wind and you misplaced! But if one comes in general easily tipped a dust or a grain of sand in the eyes, it is everything else with some foreign body well registered in the cornea (for example metal chips) and objects more large – as a cork of champagne – that may be responsible for a trauma involving the Visual prognosis. Back on the symptoms, treatment and the best means of prevention.

What is a foreign body in the eye?
The cornea, the transparent membrane of the eye, is very sensitive. It is cleaned continuously through lacrimal secretions (tears) and the eyelids that wink several times per minute (unknowingly). But when these manoeuvres are not enough to dislodge an undesirable, strong discomfort is felt, which quickly made to the alert. The worst would you rub the eye: often, it is ineffective and sometimes – particularly when the foreign body is plugged into the cornea – it is even dangerous…

Foreign body in the eye

Multiple particles (dust, debris, pollen, insects, etc.) are carried by the wind and sometimes land in the eye. Gardening activities (grinding, cutting, etc.) and DIY also expose the eyes dust from wood, metal, etc. Still, foreign body is projected in the eye of so violently that it creates a trauma: is the case of the champagne corks (a classic during year-end festivities), balls, footballs…

In the South of the France, is also a variety of caterpillars that elect domicile in the pines and regroup to form a kind of cocoons round and visible. Unfortunately for gardeners who undertake to cut the branch where they have established domicile, these caterpillars defend themselves by sending many prickly hairs in the atmosphere. As they are arrow-shaped, those that land in the cornea are is encrusted. And rubbing the eyes only aggravates the problem!

Is the frequency of foreign bodies in the eye high?
Everyone found a day or one with a foreign body in the eye! Toddlers who do not hesitate to engage the sand or the Earth in the face, are particularly vulnerable. But gardeners and Sunday handymen taking all their precautions to protect the eyes, are also affected. Finally, the people in particularly windy areas (such as the edges of sea) also make expenses.

What are the symptoms of a foreign body in the eye?
Foreign bodies cause a tearing, redness and pain at the point of no longer happen to open the eye, sometimes. The pain is intense in flexible lens wearers because the foreign body, stuck between the lens and the cornea, based on the latter. In cases of trauma, there may even be a decrease of the view, in addition to other symptoms.
In the absence of added trauma: symptoms are present until the foreign body is on the cornea. The pain disappears as if by magic as soon as the foreign body is dislodged (but it is mission impossible with hairs of caterpillars!). However, superinfection is possible in the days that followed, especially if the foreign body resulted in a wound of the cornea.

In ocular trauma added: when the foreign body is projected violently on the eye, there is a real risk of eye wound. More the shock was severe, more the eye may have suffered. Notably, there may be bleeding from the conjunctiva (“white” of the eye), ulceration of the cornea – the foreign body has been able to leave his footprint or debris – dislocation of the lens, a bleeding inside the eye, or even a retinal detachment. In addition, tension prevailing within the eye may increase in the hours following. It is also why the symptoms are not necessarily present to at the outset. It is the persistence, or even intensified the pain in the days that follow, or photophobia (inability to withstand the light), a decreased vision or a interferes with eyepiece which no end, which should give the alert.

How is the diagnosis of foreign body in the eye?
Most often, only one eye is affected and the person concerned very well feel the presence of the etrangergenant body. In a child who is not yet in age to express themselves, it is rather turns suddenly to cry, rubbing his eye and refuse to open it, that must attract your attention.

Who see? Despite an eye wash with wash solution or saline eye (to be only in the absence of associated trauma), if the pain persists, consult the ophthalmologist emergency. If your can take you immediately, ask the regulator doctor from 15 where can I find an ophthalmologist’s guard near you. In general, there are in the hospitals (CHU).

What is the balance? The ophthalmologist examines the cornea and has no trouble to find the guilty foreign body. Eye drops using a substance that turns under a special light allows the visualization of the foreign body and damage which it is responsible. In cases of associated trauma, it examines the internal structures of the eye, in order to verify their integrity.

Can we prevent foreign bodies in the eye?
In all situations of risk – DIY, gardening, windy day, etc. – it simply protect your eyes!
Prevention of particle projections: in adults, it is based on port (sold in DIY store) closed mask, in the event of risk activity (sanding, sawing, cutting, grinding, etc.). It is necessary to cut and burn a pine branch invaded by caterpillars quilled hair! Otherwise, old ski mask can do the trick, but you will not be able to use it in the mountains because anti-ultraviolet filter may be prejudiced by the projection of particles. In children, we must be uncompromising with sand: explain that it is strictly forbidden to start and put her sunglasses that will limit the risk of receive.

Injury prevention: adults, many eye accidents related to a champagne stopper, could be avoided if the person who opens the bottle held it straight (at worst, the CAP will go toward the ceiling) and withdrawing the plug, as soon as the metal part removed. The ideal candidate to open a bottle without risk is the one who wears glasses with unbreakable organic lenses! To prevent eye injuries in children, verify is engaged only in games or sports of his age and that he wears all the recommended protections.

What are the main treatments of foreign bodies in the eye?
Everything depends on the context. In the absence of trauma, it is flushing while in case of trauma with eye wound, it can do more harm than good!
In the absence of associated ocular trauma: only useful to gesture is to rinse the eyes. Water from the tap (same porridge) and is not perfectly sterile bottled water, should preferably use an eye wash or saline, from a new bottle (never open).
Lens wearers must also remove, clean them carefully with a suitable product (after washing hands) and put back them only if the eye wash has been effective (pain disappears suddenly and it becomes possible to open the eye).
It is absolutely forbidden to rub the eye or to try to dislodge the unwanted with a compress (even sterile) or worse, with pliers to splinter, otherwise damage to the cornea. Should nor try to force open a lid by pulling on it, under penalty of more foreign body in cornea.

Flushing was not effective – which is almost always the case with quilled hairs of caterpillars or metal particles projected by tapping a nail, for example – if the foreign body is plugged into the cornea and only an ophthalmologist can remove it (to seek emergency). To do this, it uses a magnifying device (for example, slit-lamp) and eliminates the undesirable, if necessary by using a special instrument. As it can persist a ring of rust after the removal of a metal particle, it is sometimes eliminate it with a sort of small strawberry. He then prescribed gladly antibiotic or antiseptic drops to avoid superinfection, sometimes an anti-inflammatory eye drops, as well as a healing ointment. It may be necessary to review a few days later, to ensure that the wound is on track to healing (the superficial cells of the eye regenerate quickly).

In associated ocular trauma: driving differs according to the size of the guilty object.
If it is greater than the orbit, which is the case of a large ball for example, rinse to rid the eye of any impurities (dust, twigs, etc.). If everything seems to be back in order, we only monitor. Taking painkillers is discouraged because it is important to know if the pain is in decline itself or not (in which case consult).

If it is smaller than the orbit and therefore hit the eye of head-on – which is the case of ocular trauma by a cork of champagne, for example – is a major risk of ocular wound (orbit did not stopped the plug in its tracks). In this case, do not rinse the eye with some liquid (the latter may penetrate inside, causing even more damage). Do not seek to remove lenses because it cannot afford to touch the traumatized eye. We need to keep it closed, protect it if possible with gauze sterile, but without pressing it, remain fasting – or do not eat or drink more – in the event of an emergency, do not take likely to aggravate bleeding and see emergency aspirin or anti-inflammatory an ophthalmologist.

Natural medicines have their place in addition to the treatment?
They have no place at the moment where the foreign body comes file in the eye, but once he removed and if fears a slight scratching of the cornea, herbal medicine can speed his healing.
Traditional use: eyebright is used in eye drops to 2% of decoction. The usually observed dose is 1 instillation 3 times per day. This remedy is used only once the dust or dislodged foreign body, when everything seems to be returned to normal. Do not put eye drops if the foreign body is entrenched or if there is a concept of trauma (according toherbal medicine, plant health, selection of Reader’s Digest, ed. Vidal).