What is a foreign body in the eye or ear?
Minor foreign bodies of the eye include things like sand, dust, or eyelashes that are either blown or fall into the eye and cause irritation.
Minor foreign bodies of the ear include small objects like food, beads, toys, and insects that can become lodged in the ear canal, causing irritation.
What are the symptoms of a foreign body in the eye or ear?
Common symptoms of a foreign body in the eye may include eye pain, especially when opening or closing the eye; a feeling that there is something in your eye that you cannot get out; and tearing and redness of the eye.
Common symptoms of a foreign body in the ear may include ear pain, a change in hearing, drainage from the ear, fever, fussiness and increased crying (in young children), and irritability.
What is the treatment for removal of a foreign body from the eye or ear?
Visit Healthcare Clinic at select Walgreens for evaluation of the severity of the foreign body in your eye or ear. We will review your history and complete an examination and evaluation of the foreign body in order to determine whether it can be removed safely.
For foreign bodies in the eye, the healthcare provider may use an orange dye called Fluorescein to confirm the presence of a foreign body and/or a possible scrape or scratch to the eye. To remove a minor foreign body of the eye, the healthcare provider may use sterile eyewash solution to wash out the foreign body.
Foreign bodies of the eye cannot be treated at Healthcare Clinic if the patient has:
- Significant change in or loss of vision
- Severe eye injury
- Large foreign body
- The structure of the eye is broken, including broken bones
- Severe pain
- Chemical exposure to the eye
- Sensitivity to light without cause
- Recent history of corneal ulceration or herpetic keratitis
For foreign bodies of the ear, the healthcare provider may wash out the foreign body, or use a small instrument to scoop out the foreign body.
Foreign bodies of the ear cannot be treated at Healthcare Clinic if the patient has
- Torn ear drum
- Severe ear injury
- Irregular/sharp foreign body
This treatment is available at Healthcare Clinic locations for patients 18 months and older.
Walk in or schedule an appointment at the Healthcare Clinic nearest you.
If you believe you have a medical emergency, please call 911.
Patient care services provided by Take Care Health Services, an independently owned professional corporation whose licensed healthcare professionals are not employed by or agents of Walgreen Co., or its subsidiaries, including Take Care Health Systems, LLC. Walgreen Co. and its subsidiary companies provide management services to in-store clinics and worksite health and wellness centers. Privacy Practices
This publication should be used for general educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Although it is intended to be accurate, neither Walgreen Co., its subsidiaries or affiliates, nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage due to reliance on this publication.