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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8475
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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Hi, I got a very fine piece of linen fibre from a cheap towel

Resolved Question:

Hi, I got a very fine piece of linen fibre from a cheap towel in my eye. I thought it would work it's way out, but it hasn't. After about a month, I went to my doctor and she refered me to an opthamologist. He couldn't find anything. It's been about three months now. I tried rinsing my eye in cool water as well as dipping my eye in a bowl of cool water while moving my eye around. It is still in there. I went back to my doctor and she said the opthamologist didn't find anything so try the emergency room. The couldn't see anything and gave my eye a good rinse with saline solution. The doctors have checked for corneal scratches, but see none. I'm worried that the fibre has embeded itself either under my lid, or on the eye itself. I can feel something bothering my eye every time I blink. The emergency doctor gave my night drops containg mineral oil and petroleum. I used this only for one night because it made my vision very blurry and hasn't stopped being blurry even after dipping my eye in water again and using non oily eyedrops. What is the best way to loosen an embedded fibre from inside the lid. Also, I am worried about permanent damage to my cornea. The doctors say there are no scratches, but what about micro scratches since the fibre is so fine. My eye does sometimes look irritated so I know the foriegn object is still in there. Please help me. It's been 3.5 months and I'm getting scared.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Thanks for the good history of your problem. It sounds like you have been through a lot.

Dr. Rick :

If the micro scratches are too fine to show up with a high powered slit lamp exam and special stains you do not need to worry that any damage is being done to your cornea.

Customer:

Yes, what do you recomend? The doctors also fliped my lid and wiped it with a cotton swab.

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like you have got excellent care. Tell me. What does your eye feel like? Does this feeling come and go? Also, do you wear contact lenses?

Customer:

I always wear glasses. It feels like something is on my eye. when I wiped it with a clean finger, it hurts in the colored and pupil area. The lower white part is not irritated, I haven't tried wiping the upper white are as my finger touches the colored area and it hurts. I don't want to risk doing damage. I have even tried gently wiping a Qtip over the eye and it is sensitive in the colored area as well as under the top of my lid. I believe it is stuck to my lid and is irritating my eye. Would the doctors have been able to see if it's on my eye. I can understand them not seeing it on the inside of my lid when they flip it, because it is so fine. Two weeks before this happened I got one in my left I but was able to get it out and I was surprised at how fine it was.

Dr. Rick :

I have seen spider leg hairs stuck under peoples eyelids with the slit lamp....and they are much, much smaller then a piece of fiber from a cheap towel. I really believe that if there was a fiber still there that it, or the damage it caused, would be visible on careful exam.

Dr. Rick :

Also, a cotton fiber is pretty soft and should not really cause much discomfort, especially after this all this time since it would get covered in mucus. I wonder if something else is going on here.....

Dr. Rick :

Have your doctors ever talked about dryness of your eyes, mild allergies or something called blepharitis?

Dr. Rick :

still there?

Customer:

The towel is made of synthetic material. How would the eye react to this?

Dr. Rick :

It could cause the foreign body sensation you are describing but I just can't imagine it being missed on careful slit lamp exam and swabbing under the lid with a ointment covered qtip......or lasting this long as it should have been covered in mucus or expelled by the natural flushing action of your tears over time.

Dr. Rick :

It's not like the fiber would have barbs or anything like that.

Dr. Rick :

Since you've had no relief from your current care plan what do you think about trying a simple home treatment for dry eyes, allergies and blepharitis? It may help and what do you have to loose?

Customer:

I'm wondering if protien has built around it and is causing it to stick to my lid. My left eye is perfectly clear. I have been using eyedrops. I was wondering if there is a solution I can safely soak my eye in to dislodge the fibre from my lid. The lid does feel irrated so I know something is there. The fibre won't come out on it's own. When I did see it on top of my eye a couple of months ago. I could not wipe it away. It was very stubborn to come off my eye. When I was manually trying to get it off my reactions were to blink and it would disappear up under my lid.

Dr. Rick :

That is a good idea. Mucamyst would be an excellent drop for this. It comes in a sterile vial for use in patients on a respirator but can be placed directly in the eye 3 to 4x/day just as it is. This will dissolve any mucus and hopefully help the fiber to get loose.

Dr. Rick :

You can get a Rx from your primary care MD.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Customer:

Will this also work on protein? Is that what mucus is made of? I just have this bad feeling that skin is growing over it and trapping it there.

Dr. Rick :

It should help a lot. It really is the best compound for what you are wanting to do. Here a an excellent article on this drug:

Dr. Rick :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mucomyst

Dr. Rick :

If the skin is growing over it then it would no longer bother your eye as it would not be able to touch it....it would be safely encased by your body.

Customer:

How long should it take to work? What else should I be doing? Should I dip my eye in a cool bowl of water nightly to help keep it clean or to speed up the dislogement.

Dr. Rick :

It should work after about a week or so. I would stop dipping your eye in water as this is not sterile and could cause serious infections....if you want to rinse out your eye use sterile ampules of preservative free artificial tears.

Dr. Rick :

Give this a try. I bet you will feel better.

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Customer:

I forgot to ask, what if it is only partially being encased in skin and I am still being irritated. Is there anyway to safely remove this.

Dr. Rick :

yes, if it can be seen it can be removed at the slit lamp with special tweezers....I don't think it is something you can do yourself.

Dr. Rick :

Is there anything else I can help you with today

Dr. Rick :

?

Customer:

I will try what you recomend. Will I be able to ask more questions if I'm still not okay after 2 weeks?

Dr. Rick :

Sure. After you accept you can post back to this thread if you want and we can pick up where we left off.

Dr. Rick :

Have a good day and let me know how things work out.

Customer:

Okay, thank you.

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8475
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
Dr. Rick and 2 other Eye Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.
Let me know if there are there any other concerns or issues you would like to discuss on this topic.

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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick
Ophthalmologist & Retina Specialist
5439 Satisfied Customers
Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest