Splinter retrieved from patient’s eye 15 years after gardening accident

A 3mm wooden splinter was discovered in a man’s eye during the course of his diabetic eye examination

wood chip

A wooden splinter has been discovered in a patient’s eye 15 years after it was lodged in his cornea following a gardening accident.

BMJ Case Reports authors shared that the man in his 30s presented to the ophthalmology clinic for his diabetic eye examination.

The patient reported sustaining an eye injury while gardening around 15 years previously.

Despite initial pain and discomfort, the patient did not seek medical attention as his symptoms resolved over time.

At the time of his diabetic eye examination, his visual acuity was 6/7.5 in the affected right eye and 6/6 in the left eye.

A slit lamp examination revealed a paracentral intracorneal foreign body that traversed the cornea and budded into the anterior chamber. The foreign body was determined to be a 3mm wooden splinter.

Clinicians highlighted that there was minimal scarring around the splinter, no stromal cells or infiltration was noted and the intraocular pressure was normal.

“Despite the patient’s overall stable condition, it was recommended to uphold vigilant monitoring and continue with biannual follow-ups at the clinic. Additionally, the patient was instructed to promptly return to the clinic in the event of any pain, redness or changes in vision,” the authors shared.

They highlighted that in the absence of an initial infection, intracorneal wooden foreign bodies are capable of being well-tolerated.

“We underscore the potential for sterile wood to be well tolerated within the cornea and anterior chamber, provided it remains devoid of infection and does not serve as a conduit for infection to enter the eye,” the authors said.