Intraocular Foreign Bodies and Sharp Trauma

If your eye has been cut or pierced by a sharp object like a knife, BB, or piece of metal, you should seek medical help immediately from your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) or at an emergency room. Beyond the damage your eye has already received, there may be pieces of the object somewhere in your eye. These are called intraocular foreign bodies.

Do not apply pressure to your eye with your hand or bandage. If possible, shield your eye by placing a paper cup over it to prevent further damage. If an object is protruding from your eye, it is best, if possible, to leave the object in your eye so that an ophthalmologist can determine how and when to best remove it.

Surgery is often required to repair the damage of an injury of this sort, and serious infections can develop that can quickly lead to vision loss. Advanced microsurgical techniques and new antibiotics have helped to improve the chances of saving eyes that are seriously injured in this way.

It is important that you wear protective eyewear when engaging in activities that can be hazardous to your eyes, whether you are at work, doing chores around the house or yard, or playing sports.

(c) 2007 The American Academy of Ophthalmology

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