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It is well known that an intraocular foreign body can be tolerated for a considerable length of time. Much experimental and clinical research has been done on this subject, and it has been found that the reaction of the eye to such an accident depends on a number of factors. The factors determining tolerance are: (1) the septic or aseptic nature of the foreign body; (2) the type of organism carried into the eye; (3) the ocular tissue involved; (4) the chemical composition of the substance, and (5) the mechanical irritation produced.
Retained intraocular foreign bodies which are inert may remain free in the eyeball or become encapsulated by organized exudate, the reactions depending entirely on the situation of the foreign body. Violent inflammation may occur at the time of the accident even though no infection can be demonstrated, or reactions may occur many years after the accident