Foreign Body in the Eye: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

A foreign body in the eye is anything that is lodged in any part of the eye. Usually foreign bodies are metal, glass, or organic material (such as insects). Depending upon the size and type of material that gets into the eye, it may be a minor irritation or can cause serious medical consequences. Foreign bodies may cause bleeding into the eye. Bleeding into the whites of the eye is due to blood collection in or under the conjunctiva, the lining membranes of the eye. Blood over the iris (colored part) of the eye is known as a hyphema. This is often a sign of a serious eye injury.

Causes of foreign body in the eye

Using protective eyewear can prevent many cases of foreign body in the eye. A foreign body in the eye often occurs while being in an environment that exposes one to small flying pieces of debris. Metal or glass shards are types of material that can become lodged in the eye. High-speed machines like drills and saws, hammering, and explosions are all potential causes.

Other foreign body in the eye symptoms and signs

Bashour, Mounir. "Corneal Foreign Body." Mar. 22, 2016. <>.