Most times when a foreign object inhabits your eye, the problem can be remedied in a few easy steps. There are particles or substances that require immediate medical attention and it’s best to know how to react when eye health is threatened.
If the irritant is glass or a chemical, it is important to immediately seek medical care. If neither is suspected, there are steps that can be taken to establish the best reaction for treatment.
First, do not allow someone suffering with a forieng object in the eye to rub his or her eye. Rubbing can make even a minor problem much worse. Wash your hands and have a clean handkerchief or cotton swab nearby. You may also need a gauze pad and bandage depending on the severity of the issue.
Initially you will want to assess the situation. A foreign object in the eye might cause a stinging pain, the eye might be growing red, it may water freely, and the patient might have trouble opening the eyelid. The problem could result from a speck of dust, an eyelash or even an insect.
Most often the object is located on the inner surface of the upper eyelid. But, instead, it could be floating between the eyeball and eyelid, across the eyeball or, in serious cases, impacted into the eyeball. Are you able to see the object? If it lies over the white of the eye, simply remove it. Gently touch it with the corner of the clean, moist handkerchief or moist cotton swab.
If you see the object on the surface of the cornea, which is the clear front part of the eye, blinking should be utilized to create enough tears to wash the object out of the eye. If that doesn’t work, flush the eye with an eye wash solution. If such a solution is not readily available, tap water is an acceptable option. Use a gentle flow of water and ensure a generous amount is utilized to successfully flush the foreign object. A bowl of water can also be effective. Take a deep breath and submerge your face into a bowl of water. Avoid tipping your head too much to prevent water from going up your nose. Open your eyes and move them in a circular motion so that water can reach the entire surface of the eye and wash out any particle.
If you can't see the object but discomfort continues, immediately check the inner surface of the upper eyelid. To do this, look down, then, grasp the edge of the upper eyelid. Pull the upper eyelid down over the lower lid and roll the eye upward. This can help to remove the particle.
If you still can't see the object that continues to cause pain, the eyeball might be scratched, or the object might be imbedded in the eye. The eye should be shut, gently place a gauze pad over the closed lid, apply a bandage, and seek professional medical help immediately.
At Urgent Clinics Medical Care, we provide services for corneal abrasion and eye foreign bodies. We are able to anesthetize (numb) the eye with drops and examine with a fluorescein stain and special black light. We utilize specific tools for flushing the eye and also for removing pieces of metal from the eye.
If you believe you need professional healthcare for a foreign object removal, no appointment is necessary at any of our clinics which are open 8 am to 9 pm daily and conveniently located in Champions Forest, The Woodlands and 3 locations in League City: Creekside, Marina Bay and Tuscan Lakes. Our Pearland Clinic is open 8 am to midnight 7 days a week. Friendly, experienced and licensed medical professionals are standing by to offer effective treatment to alleviate your eye discomfort.