Ocular foreign body

The intrusion of an ocular foreign body into the globe typically necessitates surgical removal and may cause loss of vision.

Clinical presentation

Patients prevent in a highly variable manner based on the location and properties of the foreign body, as well as the presence of any associated trauma. Common symptoms include:

  • tearing
  • decreased visual acuity
  • photophobia
  • a "foreign body" sensation

Radiographic features


Available at the point-of-care as a screening tool, many foreign bodies may be accurately identified with ultrasound. While sonographic findings differ based on the nature of the foreign body, common features include 2:


A CT scan of the orbit is the modality of choice, as it provides superior localization of small foreign bodies, the anatomy of the surrounding structures, and any associated injuries. Unlike MRI, it may be used in the detection of a metallic foreign body 3.

Article information

rID: 67110
System: Head & Neck
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Intraocular foreign body (IOFB)

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: ocular foreign body
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  • Case 2: ocular foreign body
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  • Case 3: intraorbital stiletto
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