What causes foreign objects in the eye? Get more insights on symptoms, how to get something out of your eye fast, that you can’t see, on the upper lid, preventions and treatment.
Although cases of foreign materials in the eye are rare, almost everyone experiences it due to daily mishaps. Moving objects from explosives, dusty environment, insects and accidents are some of the common incidences that leads to objects entering your eye.
Foreign Objects in the Eye Causes
Foreign objects from outside the body can enter the eye and affect the cornea or the conjunctiva. The most common objects include:
- Contact lenses
- Metal particles
- Glass shards
- Dried Mucus
Most of the foreign objects that enters the eye may cause abrasions, scratches and even fatal injury to the cornea depending with the speed at which they enters. Eye infections and loss of vision are also due to foreign materials in the eye.
The cornea is a protective covering for the front eye. It is transparent to allow light to go through it as it also focuses it on the retina which is located at the back of the eye. Sclera is the white of the eye and is covered by a thin membrane regarded as conjunctiva.
Symptoms of a Foreign Object in the Eye
If you experience any of the following symptoms, quickly establish on how to get something out of your eye before it causes damages.
- Feeling of pressure or discomfort
- Sensation that something is in your eye
- Eye pain
- Extreme tearing
- Pain when you look at light
- Excessive blinking
- Redness or a bloodshot eye
- Discharge of fluid from eye.
How to Get Something Out of Your Eye, that You Can’t See
You can remove an object out of your eye using the following instructions.
- Thoroughly wash your hands.
Wash your hands using a soap and clean water. Pat them dry using a clean towel to ensure they are clean. This helps in preventing spread of bacteria to the eye that may cause infection.
- Locate the object in the eye.
Carefully examine the location of the foreign object in the eye before any attempt to remove it. The best way to do this is by moving the eye up and down, left and right and you will be able to locate it. Carefully look in the mirror placed in front of you.
- Submerge your face in bowl of water
In a bowl, mix lukewarm water with a sterile eyewash solution. Submerge your face in the mixture and keep your eyes open below the water surface. Move the eyes up and down, left and right to enable them have maximum contact with the solution. Remove the face from water and submerge again severally as you try to blink the eye.
- Flush using tap water.
Alternatively run the tap water through your eyes while they are open. Running water will help carry away the foreign objects or dilute chemicals that causes the pain and discomfort. This the easiest way on how to get something out of your eye at your home.
- Taking shower
You can flush something out of your eye by getting into shower. Let the gentle steam of lukewarm water shower your head as you hold the eyelid open.
- Removing contact lenses.
Sometimes when an object gets into your eyes, it is likely to get embedded on the undersurface of your contact lenses. Removing them can help in getting the substance or object out of your eyes.
- Using eyecup can also help in flushing out foreign objects.
- Let someone else do it for you.
You can help someone or get helped in flushing out something from your eyes fast. To do this ensure your hands are clean and the person is seated in a well-lighted area. Examine the eyes as you pull the lower lid down. Flush out the object using clean warm water.
- Pouring warm water.
This method is suitable for young children. Instead of immersing the face in water, use a glass to pour warm water while the eyelid is open. For effectiveness, one person should pour the water while the other is holding the child’s eyelid open.
- Wipe the eye with a clean cotton swab or tissue.
Once you finish on flushing out the object, gently wipe the eye using a cotton swab or tissue. While doing this, avoid direct contact of the cotton swab or tissue with the eye since it can trigger an irritation.
- Do nit rub the eye since this can scratch the cornea.
- Remove contact lenses before any process on how to get something out of your eye.
- Do not utilize any sharp objects in this process such as tweezers, pins are sticks.
- Do not remove any object embedded in your eye since it can be injured. Let the specialist do it.
- Do not remove too large objects that seem to be embedded in the eyes or one that sticks between the eyelids.
When to See a Doctor
Extreme cases of objects in the eye should be reported to the doctor or eye specialist to prevent serious eye damage or loss of vision. Seek for emergency care if the object has the following characteristics:
- It has sharp or rough edges.
- It is large enough to interfere with closing your eye.
- It contains chemicals.
- It was propelled into the eye at a high rate of speed.
- It is embedded in the eye.
- It is causing bleeding in the eye.
- The object resides within the colored section of the eye.
- The object is stuck and you are unable to remove it.
- There is blood within the colored section of your eye.
- You have removed the object, but you still feel severe pain, sensitivity to light, blurry vision or it still feels as though there is something in your eye.
How to Get Something Out of Your Eye that is Stuck – Treatment
Once you call or visit an eye specialist to remove foreign materials from your eye, the following procedures will be conducted:
- Application of an anesthetic drop which helps in numbing the eye surface.
- Fluorescein dye that will glow when illuminated with a special light to reveal the object is applied to the eye using an eye drop.
- The specialist will view the object using a magnifier and eventually locate it.
- Either of the above discussed method may be used to flush out something out of your eye.
- If the above technique fails, the physician will use special instruments like needle to remove it.
- Depending with how the object has affected your eye a treatment that involves antibiotics or ointment may be given to prevent eye infections.
- For larger corneal abrasion, the doctor may prescribe acetaminophen to ease pain and discomfort. Eye drops with cyclopentolate or homatropine may also be given to keep pupil dilated which will help the cornea to heal faster without causing painful muscle spasms.
- Your eye will always be investigated through CT scans to check on healing and possibility of any complications.
- After successful removal of the foreign objects, symptoms should subside within five hours although you will still feel a slight irritation and little discomfort for a day or two.
- Complete healing will take place within a week especially if the object did not cause any infection.
How to Prevent Foreign Objects in Your Eye
You can prevent objects in the eyes by following the following tips:
- Always wear safety glasses, face shields or goggles while working with power implement or chemicals.
- Use protective eyewear to shield your eyes while you are working in a health care facility to prevent body fluids from getting into your eyes.
- Wear goggles or face mask if you are welding.
- Always wear protective eyewear when you are involving in sports such as baseball, paintball, hockey or racquetball among others.
- Since children are highly susceptible, be a good role model by wearing eye protection.
- Purchase protective eyewear for your children and teach them how to use it.
- Educate children on how to handle sharp pointed objects and items that can get into the eyes.
Protecting your eyes against injuries and foreign objects is the best way to go. If it accidentally happen, try any of the above techniques on how to get something out of your eyes. If you can’t manage on your own, don not panic, call the doctor or visit an ophthalmologist – an eye specialist for treatment removal.