Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Cornea: foreign body

Contributor(s): Dennis E Brooks, Graham Munroe

Introduction

  • Cause: usually of plant origin; may directly enter cornea or via conjunctival sac.
  • Signs: usually sudden onset unilateral ocular pain plus other ocular signs referable to depth of cornea and other tissues involved.
  • Diagnosis: thorough examination of the eye is essential - often requires extra restraint and analgesia.
  • Treatment: all foreign bodies should be removed if causing ocular irritation; additional topical and systemic therapy may be required if other structures are damaged.
  • Prognosis: depends upon type of foreign body and damage to cornea and other structures.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • Vegetative material, eg fibrous feed material, awns, burrs, thorns, twigs.
  • Dirt, stones (especially racing animals).
  • Metal/paint flakes or sharp objects.

Pathophysiology

  • Foreign material, particularly of plant origin, can become trapped in conjunctiva   Conjunctivitis: foreign body    →   damage by lodgement on, or penetration of, the cornea.
  • Other foreign material can   →   corneal damage by direct traumatic insult.
  • Deep or full-thickness penetration may   →   severe anterior uveitis   Uveitis: anterior - overview  .

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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