plywood in the eye
June 14, 2005 2:06 PM   Subscribe

about three hours ago i got some plywood dust/splinters in my eye. I washed out my eye and put in a bunch of eye drops. My eye still hurts, which I guess is to be expected, but more disturbingly, the pupil in the aggravated eye is dilating more than the other one. any advice or suggestions?
posted by puppy kuddles to Science & Nature (18 answers total)
Go to the doctor.
posted by trey at 2:09 PM on June 14, 2005

See an opthamologist, as soon as possible. Your vision is nothing to be messing around with, and if there is a problem, it is essential to get treatment as soon as you can.
posted by xil at 2:11 PM on June 14, 2005

You know, no offense intended, but I'm flabbergasted that you thought the appropriate venue for this particular problem was the time-delayed question-and-answer format of Ask MeFi.

Get thee to a doc. Emergency room if need be.
posted by WCityMike at 2:37 PM on June 14, 2005

Go to the emergency room. Now. Go. Really.
posted by jennyjenny at 2:49 PM on June 14, 2005

The most likely explanation is that the foreign object is still in your eye. I would recommend that you visit a doctor as soon as possible (or hit the emergency room). They will probably flush your eye and if that doesn't do the trick, there is the possibility that the splinters may have broken through the globe of the eye. The fact that you were well enough to type this question out (as opposed to rushing directly to the emergency room) is probably an indication that the latter has not occurred. It is extremely painful and in most cases it will affect your vision.

The fact that your pupil is dilated might be due to the eye drops (it's a fairly common reaction).
posted by purephase at 2:56 PM on June 14, 2005

In addition to the possible damage from the splinters, there's often some really horrid chemical crap used in plywood that could be causing you some problems too. I'll add to the clamor of going to an ER or calling an opthamologist to see if they do emergency work. Back in my motocross days, I was able to get in to see one on a Sunday, at least see them as well as I could with two eyes full of mud.
posted by Moondoggie at 3:14 PM on June 14, 2005

Stop reading, get in the car and get to the ER. Have someone drive you.
posted by puddinghead at 3:17 PM on June 14, 2005

Opticians or eye casulty, ASAP.
posted by john_son at 4:20 PM on June 14, 2005

The pupil dilation was caused by the eye drops.

Unless you're pretty sure you've got a splinter jammed in your cornea, maybe just let it set a while.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:27 PM on June 14, 2005

Oh, just wait it out. Have some water. It'll be just fine.
posted by xmutex at 6:30 PM on June 14, 2005

ignore xmutex, and go to the er--they have better flushing stuff anyway.
posted by amberglow at 7:03 PM on June 14, 2005

you should make an appointment with an opthamologist ASAP. you may have managed to get all of the debris out of your eye, but you may have scratched your eye (corneal abrasion), which could lead to scarring or infection.
posted by geeky at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2005

It probably isn't a corneal abrasion, because having had one, I assure you that she wouldn't be ruminating about it on MeFi, she'd be getting to the ER ASAP. It was the most excruciating pain ever, and it lasted for three days. In my case it was caused inadvertently by my S.O. and I still hold it over her, 4 years later :)

Still now I have to be careful in the morning to not open my eyes too quickly, or the [tiny, invisible] corneal injury scar "tears" (aka rips) itself and the only solution is to go back to sleep for 15 minutes, no matter how late or rushed I might be. Yes, it was professionally treated by an ophthalmologist. Our eyes are delicate things.
posted by intermod at 8:36 PM on June 14, 2005

Let me must say that it's the weirdest feeling after they put the numbing drops in your eye and they then proceed to dig out the foreign object out of your eye with needle/tweezers. I could feel my cornea lift up and down as they were working. I don't remember the experience as being more painful than other painful experiences, but it was a while ago.

Go the ER. They may refer you to a vision clinic, as they did me. Try to get someone else to drive.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:03 PM on June 14, 2005

To add to intermod's note on corneal abrasion, the onset of pain is delayed---meaning a daytime injury might not be apparent until the wee hours of the next morning. (I've experienced it twice.) The ER doc who treated me the second time was of the opinion that the three most painful medical situations were childbirth, kidney stone and corneal abrasion. He might just have been making small talk. ;) Thankfully, the cornea is second only to mucous membrane in terms of the speed with which it heals. Or so I've heard.
posted by DawnSimulator at 12:27 AM on June 15, 2005

I'm sure there's a fascinating psychological study to be done wherein we analyze just how badly you need to mangle yourself before your first instinct is "hospital" instead of "AskMe".

Good god, GO TO A DOCTOR.
posted by mkultra at 7:00 AM on June 15, 2005

Response by poster: Hey, thanks for all the concern. I went to the doctor, they swabbed me eye and said I was allergic to the glue in the plywood (good call moondoggie). They gave me some drops for the allergy and my eye was good as new in an hour or so.

posted by puppy kuddles at 10:32 AM on June 15, 2005

i'm glad you went to a doctor and that your eye is fine :)
posted by geeky at 1:46 PM on June 15, 2005

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