Foreign Bodies In The Eye


Foreign bodies are usually in the form of small particles of metal, vegetable matter or insects which embed on surface of the eye.

Occasionally a high velocity material, usually a metal could be propelled into the eye.

Clinical features

Foreign body may be embedded on the tarsal conjunctiva, bulbar conjunctiva, and cornea or inside the eye.

Intraocular foreign body (IOFB)

  • IOFBS may be in the anterior chamber, iris, lens or vitreous; on the retina or even behind the eyeball after doubly perforating the eye

Differential diagnoses

  • Corneal abrasion
  • Endophthalmitis


  • Perforation of the eye
  • Endophthalmitis
  • Retinal toxicity from a metallic IOFB


  • Radiograph of the orbit with a localizing ring


  • Removal of subtarsal, conjunctival or corneal foreign body under magnification e.g. slit lamp microscope


  • Ultrasound should be avoided in an eye with a perforating wound


  • Appropriate protective goggles for sports, welding, game hunting etc

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