Your eyes are very delicate, and they can easily be damaged when they come into contact with a foreign object. For this reason, it’s crucial that you exercise extreme caution when you get something in your eye.
In most instances, this involves something minor such as a dust or dirt particle, a loose eyelash, or a similarly small object in your eye that doesn’t pose any danger to you. In these cases, you can most likely remove it yourself very carefully. However, you should seek medical treatment if something more serious enters your eye.
If a shard of glass or some other sharp object gets embedded in your eye, it may potentially scratch your cornea. This can result in more serious eye health issues. In addition, getting a chemical in your eye can be very serious. When one of these situations occurs, it’s crucial to visit a medical professional who can ensure you don’t do any long-term damage to your eyes or your vision.
Tips for Removing a Minor Particle from Your Eye
Always wash your hands with soap before putting them in your eyes. Then, look in the mirror to locate the object in your eye. If you determine that it is something minor such as a dirt particle, an eyelash or something similar, then you can attempt to remove the object using one of the following methods:
- Blink rapidly to try and flush it out of your eye with your tears. While blinking is fine, never rub your eye to remove a foreign object.
- If you determine that the foreign object is behind your upper eyelid, pull the upper lid out over the lower lid and then roll your eye upward to remove the particle from your eyelid.
- If you locate the object under your lower eyelid or in the corner of your eye, hold the lower lid open and use the corner of a clean cloth or a wet cotton swab to remove the particle.
- Fill a small cup with lukewarm water. Place your eye over the cup to rinse your eye and flush out the foreign object.
- Hold your eye under a faucet of running lukewarm water to flush out the object.
If something like a shard of glass gets into your eye, don’t try to remove it. Instead, cover your eyes with a wet washcloth and ask a friend or family member to take you to our office immediately. If it is after hours, then seek medical attention at the emergency room.
What to Do if You Get a Chemical in Your Eye
Getting a chemical in your eye can be very serious and should be considered a medical emergency. Follow these steps to handle the situation correctly:
- Flush your eye with water right away. Either pour water into your eye from a clean cup, or hold your eye under a faucet of running water to flush it. Make sure your eye stays open during this process, and keep flushing your eye for 15-30 minutes.
- Once you’ve thoroughly flushed your eye, visit our office immediately. If it is after hours, have a friend or family member take you to urgent care or the emergency room.
- If possible, take the chemical container with you when you seek medical treatment so that your healthcare professional knows what came into contact with your eye.
When Should I Visit an Eye Doctor or Healthcare Professional?
If you were able to successfully flush a minor particle from your eye and everything feels fine, then you most likely don’t need to seek medical treatment. However, you should call our office or visit your doctor if:
- You experience deep or severe eye pain
- You’re still experiencing irritation or pain in your eye 30 minutes after removing the particle or foreign object
- A shard of glass, chemical substance or similarly dangerous object came into contact with your eye
- You’re concerned that you weren’t able to successfully remove the object from your eye
Contact our Northeastern Pennsylvania Ophthalmologists
If you get something in your eye or experience an eyecare emergency, our doctors can help. Please call Northeastern Eye Institute at 800-334-2233 right away. We have 15 offices conveniently located in Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania.