Having anything stuck somewhere in or on your body isn’t exactly a panic but a foreign object in the eyes can be so unpleasant ranging from feeling of a minor nuisance to complete agony, putting you in an uncomfortable position.

Foreign objects in your eyes can be anything from a piece of dust to any other debris. Most times they are easy to remove and harmless however, they can affect the cornea or conjunctiva of the eyes. The cornea is the transparent part of the eyes that protects the iris and pupil while the conjunctiva is the thin layer that covers the inner part/white part of the eyes. There are cases that an object in your eye can scratch your cornea and this takes a couple of days to heal and require treatment from your health provider.

Symptoms of a foreign object in the eyes include a sensation that something is in your eye, pain, tearing, excessive blinking, redness or a bloodshot, feeling of pressure, discharge of fluid or blood from the eyes if a foreign object penetrates intensely with high-speed impact.

When something enters your eye, you will surely know right away. Whether it’s your eyelashes, dust, or sand. Of course, it will feel so bothersome that you won’t be able to focus on anything else. The next time this happens to you, here’s what you should and shouldn’t do.

 

Emergency steps

  • Keep calm
  • Your first instinct when something enters your eye will be to rub it but you can end up with a painful corneal abrasion if you do not do this extremely careful.
  • You can try to bling to allow your tears to wash it out instead of rubbing your eyes.
  • Ensure you wash your hands with soap and water first and do not try to remove a larger object from your eyes. In cases like that, go the doctor immediately.
  • Do not use sharp things or cotton swabs to touch your eyeball
  • Carefully remove contact lenses if there is a sudden swelling or you have suffered a chemical injury.
  • Look into a mirror and try to find the object; this can be done by looking up and down, then left and right.
  • Irrigate with water. Splashing the object away with clean water does the trick for most particles. You can immerse the affected eye in a shallow container of sterile saline solution or water. This will help flush the debris away. Once the object is no longer in the eye, use a clean cotton swab to wipe and dry the area.
  • For chemicals, immediately flush the eye with water holding your head and pouring water into your eye from a clean container. Keep your eyes open while flushing with water. You can continue doing this for 15 to 30 minutes after which you call your health care provider for proper care and examination.
  • For foreign objects embedded in your eye,
    • Restrict eye movement
    • Bandage your eyes using a clean cloth
    • If the object is too large, cover with a paper cup, also cover the uninjured eye and seek emergency treatment.

 

See a doctor

With your emergency home treatment, you may need to see a doctor if the following symptoms persist

  • Sensation of having something in your eye
  • Abnormal vision, blinking, or tearing
  • A cloudy spot on your cornea

 

Advice from eDokita

It can be quite difficult to anticipate or avoid foreign objects in the eyes but you can prevent by following this tips

  • Wear protective eyewear when working with dangerous or toxic chemicals and
  • In a dusty environment