Reminder about Safety

Posted 2011.04.09 18.16 in Hobbies, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

I’ve been pretty good about doing the safety goggles thing when it comes to playing with lasers. But for general electronics work, it’s just never occured to me that they’re necessary. I mean, snipping component leads, working with solder, even some mechanical stuff like drilling or cutting enclosures… it just didn’t seem that dangerous.

Then, cutting a little hole in a plastic enclosure for a switch, and ZOCK!

Tiny metal fragment, right in the eye!

It came off the edge of the blade – a tiny little fragment of the cutting edge of an x-acto knife, straight into the right eye! Ok, now I suddenly recognize why safety glasses are a good idea even with simple electronics.

I was able to spot it with a mirror and a bright light, but couldn’t get it out – it was too tiny and looked like it was sort of stuck in the white part. Then I blinked and it ‘vanished’. Now I don’t know where it is… I suspect it’s lost in the conjuctiva under my eye.

Now my eye is vaguely itchy but I’m not sure if that’s from the metal chip or from me poking around in there trying to find the metal chip.

So anyhow, let this be a lesson — eyeball safety, is always a good idea!


  1. Kim Link says:

    Stephanie, get to an ophthalmologist immediately. When you get a bit of ferrous metal stuck in your eye, it will eventually develop a rust ring. Dunno what they do now, but when I got some brass stuck in my eye, the doctor told me I was lucky it wasn’t ferrous because he would have to use a dentist’s drill to get rid of it. He was not joking, that’s how they did it, I know someone who had it done. Go.

  2. Kim Link says:

    This always happens on the weekend, by the way. It did for me, too. Mine was removed with a needle, by the way.

  3. Stephanie says:

    It isn’t stuck in the eye any more. It was sort of on the white of the eye but I am pretty sure it’s in the membrane in the part under the eye (conjunctiva). I get allergic-conjuctivitis all the time and I reckon it’s doing that right now… it’ll get gooped up and come out on its own later tonight or in the morning.

    If I hadn’t blinked though I would have been able to get it with tweezers, just didn’t have a chance to grab them before the involuntary blink knocked it out of my eye and into the conjunctiva.

  4. macegr says:

    Been there…in my case, the metal splinter embedded in the white of my eye just outside the pupil. It stuck out a little and would scratch the inside of my eyelid a little when I blinked. Before I could get to an ophthalmologist it started making rust stain. To get it out they had to use a little tool that zipped out and nipped a little cylinder of eye-white. I like safety glasses now.

  5. Stephanie says:

    Wow macegr that sounds unpleasant! I hope that once they got it out you recovered without any trouble?

    I figure I’ve just been very lucky; the piece wasn’t in too deep and I was able to dislodge it so it ended up under my eye instead of in it. I’m quite certain it was expelled later that night as I’ve had no problem since then and no sense of irritation in there.

  6. Lezley says:

    Jesus Christ… what the fuck. Ew.

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