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Cement/plaster particle in eye
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Cement/plaster particle in eye

Hi -- Yesterday afternoon I used my finger to poke a bathroom ceiling to examine what appeared to be a little bit of water damage.  The water damage must have been old, as the ceiling wasn't damp, but a few plaster flakes fell down on me from the ceiling, and at least one piece landed in my eye.  Within 5 minutes (maybe sooner?), I started rinsing my eye out with tap water and then artificial tears, which I probably did for 5-10 minutes.  It continued to feel like something was in my eye, so after about 15 minutes, I washed it out a little more.  Finally I called an ophthamalogist, who had me come in asap (which was about 2 hours after the incident happened).  The doctor put in drops in to examine my eye more clearly.  He said he couldn't see any particles or evidence of a chemical burn, but the eye looked very irritated and swollen.  He put ointment in the eye and gave me a presciprtion for Tobradex--one drop every two hours.  My question is that today this eye looks less a little less swollen and red, but it still feels irritated, almost as though something is still in my eye.  (Also, the drops sting a little when I use them.)  I've now just been reading online about the dangers of getting cement/plaster in one's eye, and it sounds like getting this type of alkali product in one's eye can cause serious damage.  My questions:  if it was just a tiny amount that fell in my eye, and the ophthamalogist couldn't see any particles/burn yesterday, should I not be worried?  How many days will the eye take to totally heal?  If it's not feeling better tomorrow, should I call the doctor again before the holiday weekend?  Thank you in advance for any comments!
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The doctor could have easily seen a chemical type burn so that is not the major issue at present, most likely.  You may still have a small scratchy area on the cornea that will just take a few days to heal.  Continue using the drop about 4 times a day and add a few drops of artificial tears about every hour to help with the irirtation.  If not feeling better by tomorrow, have the doctor take another look at it.  THe doctor is usually able to tell you how you are going to be feeling after the visit to set your mind at ease.  It is also possible that there is still a small particle left in the conjuctiva - I've seen it happen before.  Also, I don't relate any of this to past contact lens changes in cornea.

MJK MD
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Just to add:  I'm a woman (mid-40s) in good health--no regular medications except for Patanol eye drops and Zyrtec for allergies.  Prior to this incident, I was told I have some mild scarring (or an "opacity") at the top of my corneas, possibly from years of wearing contact lenses.  I did not not have contacts in at the time of this mishap.
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