Visual loss from mismanaged ocular injury with foreign body impaction: A Case Report

Keywords: Endophthalmitis, Ocular injuries, Ophthalmologic Emergency Care, Visual loss, Foreign body


Ocular injury occurs commonly and it may lead to visual impairment if it is not properly managed. We report the case of a 35-year old man with a retained infected ocular foreign body in his right eye following an injury. The foreign body was not discovered despite consulting non-ophthalmologists at a Maternity Centre and an Optical Shop over a period of ten days.  At presentation at the Specialist Hospital, he was unable to see with swelling of the eyelid, red eye and discharge. On examination, the visual acuity in the affected eye was NLP and an infected stick that penetrated the eyeball was discovered in the superonasal aspect of sclera covered by the swollen upper lid. This resulted in endophthalmitis, cataract and blindness of that eye.

Ocular injuries must be promptly referred to the ophthalmologist for appropriate care and to prevent complications. The case clearly showed a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge for paramedics who encounter eye injuries outside the tertiary hospital setting. Therefore, this report raises public health concern intended to increase awareness on the management of eye injuries.

The incorporation of Primary Eye Health into Primary Health Care along with training and re-training of Community Health Extension Workers, General Practitioners and other rural health workers cannot be overemphasized.


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Case Report