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The Care For Foreign Body In The Eye

Jul 24, 2008
Keeping your follow-up appointments is important. Under no circumstances should you miss your follow-up appointments.

Unfortunately, this is an area where many people fail to follow their doctor's advice. Treatments are not absolute, and follow-up care is necessary to ensure that the treatment prescribed is effective.

Depending on the severity of the injury, follow-up care for re-evaluation should be in 1-2 days with an ophthalmologist. Follow-up care after surgery varies widely depending on the procedure.

Eye protection is the best prevention. Many eye injuries, especially high-speed impacts that may rupture the globe (eyeball), are usually devastating to your eye and could result in vision loss. Always wear eye protection when working in an environment where flying debris is likely.

Eye protection should cover not only the front but also the side of your eyes. Regular sunglasses or corrective glasses are not sufficient eye protection when working in a high-risk environment. You should wear goggles or safety glasses with side shields.

The prognosis for corneal abrasions, even large ones, is very good. Most corneal abrasions heal within 48 hours. The prognosis for other eye abnormalities is often much less favorable. A ruptured globe (eyeball) often leads to total loss of vision, even with early intervention.

Retinal damage usually leads to permanent vision loss. Depending on the extent of the retinal damage, this vision loss could be partial or complete.

Depending on the nature of the injury and other associated injuries, damage to the iris may be repairable. Lacerations to the tissues around the eye are often repairable but can lead to varying levels of facial disfigurement.

Because of the specialized nature of eye examination equipment, a foreign body in your eye is usually handled best in your ophthalmologist's office. If an emergency department has the necessary equipment, your ophthalmologist may also see you in the emergency department after hours if necessary. In some cases, a foreign body in your eye may be handled in an emergency department that has both a properly trained emergency physician and the appropriate equipment.

The most important aspect in deciding to seek medical attention has to do with your own evaluation of the severity of the injury. A few guidelines should be followed in deciding to have your eyes evaluated. If you do not meet these guidelines, but you are concerned that there may be significant damage, then it is always safer to be evaluated by your ophthalmologist or in a hospitals emergency department.
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