Foreign bodies in the eye are very common; most are easily removed and cause no damage.
Particles of dust are the most common type of foreign body in the eye. Occasionally, a fragment of metal, plastic, wood may be deflected into the eye.
Insects also may enter the eye at high speed. Rarely, an object travelling at high speed actually penetrate the eyeball – a piece of metal in an industrial accident.
Foreign bodies irritate the eye, causing pain, redness, increased tear production, and usually blepharospasm (uncontrollable closure and squeezing of the eyelid).
Foreign bodies may cause infection that leads to blindness.
First Aid Treatment
Foreign body in the lower lid:
° Wash your hands. Ask the victim to look up while you separate the lids and examine the eye.
° First try floating an object with water; then try lifting it out with the moistened corner of a clean cloth or folded paper.
° Grasp the eye lashes and carefully draw the upper lid outwards and downwards.
° If this does not dislodge the object, try floating it off by getting the victim to blink under water.
° If this measure fails, ask the victim to look downward while you place a matchstick across the upper lid and fold the lid over it. Then pick off the object with a clean cloth.
If none of the above mentioned works, take the victim to hospital immediately.
DO NOT: Attempt to remove a particle embedded in the eyeball. Do not remove a foreign body if its resting on the cornea.