Public service announcement: wear double eye protection when grinding metal!
Been cutting, welding, and grinding away at a steel lumber rack for the truck in these hot summer days, and had a flaming spark of debris bounce off my cheek behind wrap-around sunglasses, and lodged into my left eye cornea. Despite a PPE suite of earmuffs, cap, dust mask, eye-wear, and midday swelter, was still insufficient at preventing a metal foreign body from finding a way in; best to add a secondary face shield and goggles. No amount of flushing and rinsing under the sink nor shower could clear the object, as it was about the size of a ballpoint pen dot and visible in the mirror just outside of the pupil diameter.
The following morning, was able to have it extracted by an optometrist who would first locally numb the eye surface, and then flicked the metal out with a large needle tip. Now for this first part, I wasn’t so sure how it was going to go down before it happened.
In an optometry setting, the only fixture is the chin pad and forehead stop as part of the eye examination rig. Nothing holds the eye lid open nor anything clamps the eyeball; so all i had was my intuition to stare at some imaginary point in the distance behind her head and try not to move or blink.
Then she would scrub out the rust ring crater with an Alger brush, an electric whirring device resembling a tiny burr bit, and lastly prescribed moxifloxacin 0.5% eye drops from the pharmacy. I’m expected to make a full cornea recovery without any collateral halos or floaters in my vision.
Interestingly enough, at one point I asked if she could tell that I had LASIK in both eyes (roughly 14 years ago, which was such a positive experience it literally changed my life and subsequent lifestyle), and upon another look through her examination tools, she stated how outstanding my outcome appeared as there is no visible scaring from the flap incision, which at the time was cut with a blade; this was in Taiwan.
Don’t be a dork, wear that PPE, or as motorbikers say, all gear all the time (AGATT).