PENETRATING EYE INJURIES
a. Description. Penetrating eye injuries may occur with or without the foreign
body remaining in the eye. Objects which can penetrate the eye include metallic chips
from metal-on-metal blows or from grinding wheel injuries and glass fragments. There
is a strong possibility that a foreign body in the eye can cause mechanical damage
(problems is moving and focusing the eye) or infection in the eye.
b. Symptoms. Determine whether the patient was in an area where metal was
being pounded on metal just before the injury and whether he felt a sharp eye pain
while in that area. Pain is variable, sometimes strong and sometimes minor. Strangely
enough, a tiny object can penetrate the eye with the patient experiencing almost no
pain. He may, however, have double vision.
c. Signs. Included are the following:
(1) Visible foreign body within the eyeball. (Small objects which have
penetrated the eyeball are sometimes not visible except with special equipment.)
Visible tear in the globe.
Contents of the eyeball coming out of the eyeball.
The pupil of the eye looks irregular rather than round.
d. Protection. The goal is to provide protection so that the eye is not damaged
further. A doctor will need to remove an object that is impaled or imbedded in the eye.
Follow this procedure:
DO NOT manipulate the foreign body; leave it in place.
DO NOT put medicines in the eye.
Give the patient narcotic analgesics as required for pain.
Tell the patient that you must bandage both eyes to protect the injured
Wrap a gauze dressing or other suitable material around the affected
(6) Place a crushed cup or cone over the embedded/impaled object. Be
sure the object does not touch the top or sides of the cup. (Cut out the top of the cup
for an impaled object such as an arrow.)