Foreign object in the eye

Fact Checked

A foreign object in the eye is anything that is from outside the body that enters the eye. When an object enters the eye, the area that will be most likely be affected will be the cornea or the conjunctiva.

Generally, some of the foreign objects that might enter the eye include sand, dirt, wood or even metal shards.

Signs and symptoms of a foreign object in the eye

  • Sensation of pressure or discomfort.
  • Feeling of having a foreign material inside the eye
  • Eye pain or discomfort
  • Significant tearing.
    Foreign object in the eye

    Feeling of having a foreign material inside the eye.

  • Light sensitivity
  • Unwarranted blinking.
  • Reddened eye

Management

If the foreign object is embedded in the eye, or you’re assisting someone with an object embedded in their eye, it is important to get medical help immediately to help reduce injury. You should take these steps to help avoid additional damage to the eye:

  • Limit eye movement.
  • Cover the eye using gauze or a clean cloth.
  • Use a paper cup instead of a bandage if the foreign object is large.
  • Cover the unaffected eye to prevent eye movement in the damaged eye.

Disclaimer

The material posted on this page for a foreign object in the eye is for learning purposes only. If an individual is suspected of having a foreign object in the eye, consult your local physical. If you want to learn to properly care for this condition, register for a first aid course with a training provider near you.

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The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional

  • All canadianfirstaid.ca content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.