What is a foreign body?
Minor foreign bodies of the eye include things like sand, dust, or eyelashes that are either blown or fall into the
eye and cause irritation.
Minor foreign bodies of the ear include small objects like food, beads, toys, and insects that can become lodged in
the ear canal, causing irritation.
What are the symptoms?
Common symptoms of a foreign body in the eye may include eye pain, especially when opening or closing the eye;
a feeling that there is something in your eye that you cannot get out; and tearing and redness of the eye.
Common symptoms of a foreign body in the ear may include ear pain, a change in hearing, drainage from the ear,
fever, fussiness and increased crying (in young children), and irritability.
What is the treatment?
Visit a Take Care Health Provider for evaluation of the severity of the foreign body in your eye or ear. The
healthcare provider will review your history and complete an examination and evaluation of the foreign body in
order to determine whether it can be removed safely.
For foreign bodies in the eye, the healthcare provider may use an orange dye called Fluorescein to confirm the
presence of a foreign body and/or a possible scrape or scratch to the eye. To remove a minor foreign body of the
eye, the healthcare provider may use sterile eyewash solution to wash out the foreign body.
Foreign bodies of the eye cannot be treated at Take Care Clinics if the patient has:
Significant change in or loss of vision
Severe eye injury
Large foreign body
The structure of the eye is broken, including broken bones
Chemical exposure to the eye
Sensitivity to light without cause
Recent history of corneal ulceration or herpetic keratitis
For foreign bodies of the ear, the healthcare provider may wash out the foreign body, or use a small instrument to
scoop out the foreign body.
Foreign bodies of the ear cannot be treated at Take Care Clinics if the patient has:
Torn ear drum
Severe ear injury
Irregular/sharp foreign body