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How To Remove a Foreign Object From Your Eye

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Updated May 14, 2014

If you feel like something is stuck in your eye, blink a few times to see if it will come out on its own. Sometimes small particles of dust or eyelashes feel much bigger than they actually are, as the eye is an extremely sensitive organ. However, sometimes a foreign body can become embedded in the eye tissue. If blinking doesn't free the object, follow these tips to avoid harming your eye. (If you feel pain or can see that an object is embedded, seek medical attention.)
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: A few minutes

Here's How:

  1. Examine the eye:
    After washing your hands, look into a mirror and gently pull down on the lower eyelid. Look up to examine the lower eye region. Repeat with the upper eyelid, looking down to examine the upper region. (If possible, have a friend help with this step, as it is difficult to examine your own eyes.)
  2. Rinse the eye with water:
    Fill a clean cup with regular water. While holding the lower rim of the cup on the bone below your eye, pour the water directly into the eye. A water fountain also makes a good eyewash because it will run a steady stream of water into your eye, dislodging the foreign body.

Tips:

  1. Keep your eye gently closed. Excessive blinking could cause more irritation and discomfort.
  2. Although you will be tempted, do not rub your eye. Rubbing may cause the foreign body to become more deeply embedded in the eye.
  3. Do not try to remove a foreign object that is clearly embedded in the eye. See your eye doctor or go to the emergency room. The object could be embedded in the delicate tissues of the eye. Eye doctors use specialized instruments to remove foreign objects from the eyes.
  4. Activities such as cutting wood or grinding metal may create projectile objects that could fly into the eyes at very high rates of speed. These particles can easily become embedded in the eye tissue or penetrate the eye itself. Wearing safety glasses can prevent this type of injury.

What You Need

  • water
  • clean cup
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