A ‘foreign body’ could be any type of material that blows, drops or lands in your eye such as grit, paint or dust. Some objects such as grit or paint may blow or drop onto the front of the eye or under one of your eyelids. These ‘superficial’ foreign bodies need to be removed to make sure they do not become embedded or to prevent irritation that may lead to conjunctivitis or a painful corneal scratch.
Activities such as hammering or grinding may mean foreign bodies such as pieces of metal might enter your eye at high speed, which can cut through the outer layer of your eye (called the cornea) and can be extremely dangerous. If left untreated this could cause eye infections or loss of vision, which may require surgery.
If you have a foreign body in your eye it needs to be checked and treated as soon as possible. We may be able to help under the Somerset ACES scheme which provide NHS funded care at participating Optometrists for acute eye problems (such as foreign bodies). Or you can attend the Eye Casualty at Musgrove Park Hospital. ,