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Eye Foreign Body

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Jun 5, 2024.

What is an eye foreign body (EFB)?

An EFB is an object that gets stuck in your eye. The object may be on the surface or in a deeper part of your eye. A FB in a deeper part of your eye may cause permanent damage or blindness. This must be treated immediately. Pieces of metal, dust, wood, and sand are the most common foreign bodies.

Eye Anatomy

What are the signs and symptoms of an EFB?

How is an EFB diagnosed?

Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and examine your eye. Tell your provider what you were doing when symptoms began and if you know what is in your eye. The provider may check your vision by asking you to read letters or numbers off of a chart. You may need any of the following:

How is an EFB treated?

Medicines will be given to decrease pain or prevent an infection. Your healthcare provider may numb your eye and flush it with liquid to help remove the FB. The provider may also use a cotton swab or other tools to help remove the FB. If the FB is hard to remove or has damaged deeper parts of your eye, you will need surgery to remove it.

What can I do to help my eye heal?

You may have pain, sensitivity to light, or blurry vision for a few days. Do the following to help your eye heal:

What can I do to prevent another EFB?

When should I seek immediate care?

When should I call my doctor or ophthalmologist?

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your healthcare providers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.