How We Remove a Foreign Object From Your Eye

by Nov 21, 2023

Accidents happen, and one of the most painful mishaps involves getting a small piece of metal or a foreign object lodged in your eye. Whether it occurred during grinding, welding, or cutting metal, the presence of metal shards or shavings in the eye can be excruciating. It’s crucial to handle this situation with care and seek immediate professional medical assistance. Removing a foreign object from the eye requires precision and may necessitate medication as well. Here’s what you need to know about getting a piece of metal out of your eye.


The Importance of Seeking Professional Help

When a foreign object, such as a small piece of metal, becomes embedded in the cornea, it’s essential to resist the temptation to remove it yourself. Trying to extract the metal alone can worsen the situation, potentially leading to further injury or infection. Always seek professional medical assistance to ensure a safe and successful removal process.


Contact an Eye Doctor

To address the issue effectively, make an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible. Eye doctors, also known as ophthalmologists or optometrists, possess the necessary expertise and specialized tools to remove foreign objects from the eye safely. They will carefully examine your eye and proceed with the appropriate procedure.


Techniques Used for Metal Removal

An eye doctor employs various techniques and tools to extract a foreign object from the eye. Here are some common approaches:

Needle or Surgical Spud: Using a sterilized needle or surgical spud, the eye doctor will carefully dislodge the metal from the cornea. This procedure requires precision and expertise to avoid any surrounding damage.

Cotton-Tipped Applicator: An alternative to a needle or surgical spud is a cotton-tipped applicator. The eye doctor may gently maneuver the metal with the applicator until it can be safely removed.


Addressing a Rust Ring

In some cases, following metal removal, a rust ring may remain on the cornea. A rust ring can cause discomfort and increase the risk of infection. To eliminate the rust ring, the eye doctor may use an Alger brush, a specialized tool designed to safely remove rust rings from the cornea.


Treating and Preventing Infection

After the metal has been successfully removed, your eye doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops. These drops help prevent and treat potential infections caused by the presence of a foreign object. It’s crucial to follow the prescribed treatment plan precisely to ensure proper healing and reduce the risk of complications.


Preventive Measures

To avoid such incidents in the future, it’s important to take appropriate precautions when working with metal. Make sure to wear suitable protective eyewear, such as safety glasses or goggles, whenever you engage in activities that involve metalworking. These preventive measures can significantly reduce the risk of foreign objects entering your eye and causing injury. While no amount of protection can guarantee complete prevention, having a plan and adhering to the correct safety precautions should be standard in any area that is liable to involve stray metallic objects.



Our eye doctor at Ingram Comprehensive Eye Care, P.A. in Columbia,SC excels in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and management of various eye diseases.  Call our optometrists at (803) 782-7080 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about safely removing metal or a foreign object from your eye. Our optometrist provides the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in Columbia, South Carolina and the surrounding vicinities of Saint Andrews, Seven Oaks, Dentsville, Forest Acres, Woodfield, and Blythewood


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