What Do I Do if a Foreign Object is in my Eye?


It’s normal to get a speck of dust or dirt in your eye from time to time. In most cases, a few blinks will remove it. However, if you get a larger foreign object in your eye, or what is in there won’t come out, it’s important to know what to do.


First, you should wash your hands using warm water and soap. This is important because you could transfer any dirt, debris, allergens, or even potentially harmful bacteria into your eyes otherwise, putting you at risk of other problems developing.


Do not rub your eye. As much as your eye may feel irritated and sore, rubbing it won’t necessarily help and could make the situation worse. This is because rubbing anything in your eye could cause a corneal abrasion. This is where the surface of the cornea becomes scratched. It can be painful and take several days for your cornea to heal.


Do not use cotton pads or balls to clean your eyes as these can shed tiny fibers that make your eyes even more irritated. You should also avoid using sharp tools like tweezers to try and remove anything from your eyes.


Do remove contact lenses (if you wear them). This will prevent them from getting scratched or torn and causing further problems.


Dealing with Small Objects in the Eye


If you only have a small foreign object lodged in your eye, you may be able to remove it yourself at home. One of the easiest ways to do this is to rinse your eye thoroughly using fresh, clean running water. You can aim a shower spray on a low power directly into your eyes and leave it running for around 10-15 minutes. If the foreign object is lodged in your upper or lower eyelids, gently pulling them out could help to release the foreign object so that it can be flushed out.


If You get Chemicals in Your Eye


Chemical burns are actually one of the most common eye injuries that we see. They can happen directly, such as if you accidentally spray perfume with the nozzle facing the wrong way. But they are more often caused by transfer – when you have some chemical on your fingers and then you touch your eyes.


Chemical burns have the potential to be extremely serious, so it’s essential that you take action right away. Rinse your affected eye/s under warm running water for at least 15 minutes. This will help flush away as much of the chemical as possible. You should do this before contacting your eye doctor, who may then advise you to come in so that your eyes can be assessed.


See an Emergency Eye Doctor Immediately if:


  • Your eye is bleeding profusely

  • Something has poked a hole in your eye

  • Something has pierced your eyeball or the surrounding tissues – do not try to take it out yourself

  • You can’t close your eye

  • Your vision changes

  • It still feels as though there is something in your eye even after you’ve removed a very small foreign object


Where the health of your eyes and your vision is concerned, it’s always better to play it safe. If you have any concerns about something in your eye, eye pain, or sudden visual changes, always speak to your professional eyecare team at Eyecare Center of Martin.



To get more advice on eye emergencies, please schedule an appointment at Eyecare Center of Martin in Martin, Tennessee by calling (731) 587-3555 today.

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