As a sense organ, eyes allow for vision. Eyes detect light from the environment and transform them into electro-chemical impulses in neurons. After light is collected from the surroundings, the intensity is regulated through a diaphragm and focused through the lenses to form an image. This image is then converted into a set of electrical signals which is then transmitted to the brain. Interestingly the, human eyes can distinguish approximately 10 million colors.
The eyes are damaged easily. When foreign body objects enter the eye, it is usually flushed out by the eyes, but it may lead to irritation. The eyes are protected by the eyelashes to prevent most particles or objects from entering it. Furthermore, blinking and tears usually rinse out units that irritate the eye. Most eye irritants are harmless and can be removed easily. Seldom do solid particles or objects stick to the eye and implant itself below eye surface. These foreign bodies are usually specks of dirt, debris, sand, make up or eyelashes even. Although larger objects such as cinders, glass or rust may also cause serious damage to the eyes.
More often than not, foreign objects are particles found in the atmosphere that get into the eye because they are not seen by the naked eye. Although, sometimes, accidents or work scenarios that result to jumping particles without proper eye protection can also lead to foreign objects entering the eye.
Foreign objects in the eye are often not painful, unless they are sharp. When there are particles in the eyes, it is normally felt. However, if it is not, the eye may become red, irritated and watery. Sometimes, it is characterized by itching and sensitivity to bright light. If it is severe, it may lead to blurry vision or loss of vision in the affected eye.
Although most injuries are considered minor and can be treated at home, complications may occur in extreme cases. Infection and scarring may occur if the foreign object is not removed right away. Corneal abrasions occur when the cornea of the eye is scratched. When the scratch on the eye does not heal completely, it may lead to ulcer permanently affecting vision.
For small particles, these foreign objects can be easily removed. However, the best method for removal is to rinse out the eye with an eye wash solution. If none is available, use clean water and apply generously until the object is flushed out. If the object is still in the eye, manual removal should be done. Tissue or cotton swab may be used. Make sure to look in the reverse direction of where the object is located. As much as possible, if an object is still stuck in the eye, do not remove it by self.
To assist someone who might have foreign objects in their eye, ask the person to sit in a well-lighted area. Wash hands before handling anything. To find the object, gently examine the eye. Pull the lowed lid and ask the person to look straight up. Hold the upper lid. Try using a medicine dropper filled with clean, lukewarm water or saline solution to flush it out. If no medicine dropper is available, use a glass of water or hold the person’s head under a moderate stream of water.
If the foreign body is big and penetrated the eye, it is important to seek medical attention right away. Treatment for foreign objects in the eye varies with size and penetration. First aid training teaches the community how to respond in eye injuries.With proper training, further damages can be avoided.