My personal experience with a Subconjunctival Foreign Body: Part 1
Last Friday I was passing Mark & Spencers at Edgware Road, heading down towards Paddington when something flew into my left eye. A foreign body (subconjunctival foreign body) of some unknown nature lodged itself underneath my eyelid. It was a very windy evening, and there was an enormous amount of pollen flying around. It had even been quite difficult to breathe because of the nature of the pollen. I do not know which pollen it was, but whatever went into my eye irritated it.
I rubbed and rubbed it hoping that I could make my eye water enough to get the foreign body to disappear. My eye hurt a lot, and I did not feel that I had got rid of the piece of dust or pollen from underneath my eyelid. However, I was very tired, and since it was about eight o’ clock at night and I was about to go on holiday the day after, I thought I would not walk back to the Western Eye Hospital Casualty Department, which I just walked by a few minutes earlier. Instead, I decided to see what it is like overnight and if there were still problems in the morning, I would do something about it.
I went to sleep. The symptoms were a little tenderness, an annoying ache and each time I blinked I could feel something very lightly rubbing on my eye. My eye was not particularly red. The next morning I woke up to take my flight. When I got to Barcelona, I asked the taxi driver who was taking me into town where an eye casualty was. He suggested three different eye casualties; one up at IMO (Instituto de Microcirugia Ocular), the Barraquer Eye Institute and lastly the Institut Catala De La Retina. Around 9:30 am I turned up at the Institut Catala De La Retina and presented myself to their 24-hour eye casualty and explained that something had blown in my eye, got stuck underneath the lid and I could still feel it and I wondered if the ophthalmologist could examine me.
I paid my €120, and about 10 minutes later I was sitting in front of a nice young ophthalmologist who asked me a few questions and then proceeded to examine my eye. She did it very gently, very calmly and she put in some local anaesthetic drops of fluorescein. Of course, at that point, all the discomfort went away, and she also looked underneath my eyelid.
She could not see a foreign body and said what she thought had happened is that I had got the foreign body in the eye, I rubbed it, and at some stage, it had come out, but it had left some marks and inflammation. She gave a mixture of steroid and antibiotic to drops to take four times a day for five days and sent me on my way.
In my next blog post, I shall describe what happened next with my subconjunctival foreign body.