How Foreign Substances May Get Into The Eyes

BB shots, bits of broken bottle, metal shavings, arrows and stones, have all penetrated and lodged in the eyeball. I know a physician who has taught his children, and every child in the neighborhood, to cover their eyes instinctively whenever they see that a glass or bottle is going to be dropped on the floor or sidewalk.

BB shots get into children’s eyes usually by glancing from a target or wall at which the sharpshooter is aiming. Golf balls hitting a rock or tree and bouncing back to break a player’s glasses, often cause foreign bodies and laceration in the eye.

The treatment of these conditions is one that requires great judgment on the part of the attending oculist. In the case of metal particles they can usually be removed by a powerful magnet, which is a part of the equipment of every industrial plant at which such accidents can happen. Or at least a part of the equipment of the plant’s medical department.

There is a difference of opinion as to whether operation should be performed in all cases, or not. There are many cases on record in which a foreign body has been left in the eye, in which the vision is good. On the other hand, foreign bodies can be removed from the eye and leave a good vision. In most cases, however, the outlook for vision and for irritation of the eye after the entrance of a foreign body, is poor.