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Pull it out, or leave it in

impaled appleEye injuries are common. I have seen nails, glass, wood, and other bits of metal puncture the eye. I’ve even seen a Taser’s harpoon-like probe go into the eye. If you happen to find yourself in one of these unfortunate situations, what should you do? While you obviously want to seek immediate medical attention (go to your local ER or ophthalmologist‘s office), you should NOT try to remove the object yourself.

If your eye is punctured, that object is likely in the middle of a number of delicate structures such as the cornea, lens, iris, vitreous or retina. If you try to pull out the object, you are very likely to permanently damage one or more of these tissues. Permanent vision loss is possible.

What to do

The goal is to stabilize the offending object in your eye until an ophthalmologist has a chance to carefully remove it in the controlled setting of an operating room. Do whatever you need to do to keep the object still in relation to the eye. Pad the areas around it and tape the padding to your head. If the object is small, form a protective shell around your eye so nothing can touch the object (try taping a paper or styrofoam cup over your eye).

Once you see an ophthalmologist and a full eye exam has been performed, you will know the true extent of the damage and what needs to be done to fix it.

Have you ever known anyone who got stuck in the eye?


One comment on “Pull it out, or leave it in

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    March 26, 2014

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This entry was posted on September 16, 2012 by in The Eye and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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