Hi. Welcome to Case of the Day. I’m Dr Croley and today we’re gonna discuss a case that came in. We had a young gentleman come in who got something in his eye. And so we’re gonna talk about getting things in your eye. He got a piece of metal in his eye at work, working under a car. He got a metallic material or foreign body on the surface of his cornea, which is the clear part of your eye, in front of the blue or brown part of your eye. Unfortunately, he left that in his eye for several days, always thinking it will work its way out and come out. And he finally figured out it wasn’t gonna come out so then he came in.
So he had this piece of metal in his cornea and it had been in there a length of a time so actually, when you got a piece of metal that has iron in it, it will actually physically rust into your cornea. So not only did he have this foreign body, but he also had rust melting into his corneal tissue and this also – area where the foreign body was located was surrounded by white blood cells, that is, he was developing an infection or ulcer around where the foreign body was located.
So we got the foreign body out but that’s the problem. It’s very important you don’t wait when you get something in your eye. So we ended up for this particular person, taking the foreign body out, cleaning the rust out of the cornea and started this person on intensive antibiotic treatment, that is, we started him on a topical antibiotic, one drop in that eye Q 1 hours, that is one drop every hour during the daytime to get this infection cleared out of his cornea.
So how do people get corneal foreign bodies? Well, it happens commonly at work, probably more often at work than it does at home but it does happen on both locations. And what kind of foreign bodies do we see? We see foreign bodies that are metal, for people who are grinding, hammering, doing something around some type of metal object. Then, other things we see commonly are landscape people who are weed whacking or are doing yards or landscaping and a plant material of some sort gets in their eye.
The metal, like I said, would rust into the cornea and they can get infected, as well, just like this gentleman did. But if you get a piece of plant material in your eye, then you’re at even higher risk of infection, either from bacteria or maybe even a fungus because of that bacteria growing on that plant material. So that’s the important part about getting that type of thing in your eye.
With all the OSHA regulations, usually the amount of foreign bodies we get, those numbers have decreased over the years because you have to wear protective eye gear at work to prevent this from happening. But at home, what do we see? Well we see people at home who were doing yard work where material get things in their eye. And if you’re hammering or chopping or grinding or working on your car at home, we see people get metal in their eyes while working at home, as well. So just because you’re at home doesn’t mean you should not protect your eyes, as far as getting something in there. So you should always get a pair of protective goggles that you can typically get at a hardware store, or if you wear glasses make sure they’re large enough that they’re gonna cover around your eye or cover over your eye.
So the important things about foreign bodies or getting corneal foreign bodies in your eye is don’t wait if you have something in your eye. Call your eye doctor or go to the emergency room and get that foreign body removed before: one, if its metal, rusts into your eye; or two, gets infected where now you can have a significant complication from getting this material in your eye.
So if you have any questions about getting something in your eye or corneal foreign bodies, you can always contact us through the website and may God bless you with healthy eyes and great vision.