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In today’s article, we’ll be discussing the life hacks how to get something out of your eye.
We all know It can be so frustrating when you get some stuff in your eye. Not to mention scary. Your eyes have their own defense system to stop foreign particles from entering.
Your eyelashes and eyelids do their job pretty well, most of the time.
But still, the odd dust particle might find its own way to enter your eye. Which is super uncomfortable.
Now, the first question:
When you say “There is something in my eye”, are you sure there is a “something” in your eye?
- Did you see it?
- Do you know what it is?
- How long have you been feeling like there is something in your eye?
- Is the vision in the eye affected?
- Is there a discharge from the eye?
- Can you feel/tell wherein the eye something is?
There are things that can feel like a “something” in the eye but aren’t actually something in the eye- like an ingrown eyelash or a concretion or a corneal lesion like a herpes dendrite.
So the best thing to do is, and I highly recommend you to do that, is show an ophthalmologist or optometrist who is used to dealing with corneal foreign bodies and corneal lesions.
And if you have small particles that just went on your eye, we have little smart tips on how to get stuff out of your eye,
Let’s dive into that.
Best life hacks how to get something out of your eye?
I know this sounds backward, but I'll try to explain it: If it's stuck in the top half of your eye,
- Grab your top eyelashes and pull them outwards, so your top eyelid isn't touching your eye.
- Then “close” your eye and pull your top eyelid down, so your bottom eyelid goes up beneath your top eyelid.
- Then let go of your top eyelid eyelashes and re-open your eye, your bottom eyelashes will be like a broom on the inside of your eyelid.
My grandmother taught me this when I was a kid, and it works most of the time.
Now let’s check out some other ways to take something out of your eye.
Important Note: This works great unless you’re wearing mascara. In which case, you just end up with a bunch more shit in your eye, so if you have mascara, don’t use this technique.
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Best Way To Get Something Out Of Your Eye [5 Ways]
The best, safest answer to getting something out of your eye is to go to your ophthalmologist or optometrist.
They have the knowledge, equipment, and expertise to get the foreign body out safely.
Also, they can assess for, and treat if necessary, any infection which may result from a contaminated FB.
The first concern when someone is trying to get something out of their eye is that if it involves any more than just rinsing the eye or putting drops in, their attempts can often be more dangerous than helpful.
Our eyes are very good at getting things out of the eye that gets into it, as long as we don’t interfere with the natural process too much.
Tearing, blinking, and mucous production will usually wash any non-embedded FB out fairly quickly.
FB will typically end up covered with a sticky mucous and washed-blinked into the inner corner of the eye (tears and blinking all push stuff in our eye into the inner corner next to the nose.
Once it’s in there, it’s typically fairly easy to get it out with a clean handkerchief wrapped around a washed finger, and a very gentle wiping motion.
Squirt bottles of sterile eyewash solutions (typically a sterile saline solution with a small amount of boric acid) can also be helpful in washing out loose FB.
Let’s check out the other ways now:
1. Saline Solution
If by life hack, you mean the simple solution to your problem, right.
The first thing you can do is rinse it over and over with a saline solution.
Don’t use tap water, just get some drops and rinse over and over, while looking around at all angles/directions.
Also, wash your hands before touching anything, just for safety, so you don’t have any dust or anything else on your hands.
2. Pull It Forward
If the first trick doesn’t work,
The next option is simply to grab your eyelid, and pull it forward so that there is a gap between it and your eyeball.
While pulling it forward, blink your eye many times. Start smaller, get bigger until you’re doing creepy super exaggerated winks.
This should remove most particles, especially larger stubborn ones, from your eye. This technique is well known by a lot of people and I also used it many times by myself as well.
3. Take a Q-Tip
For somewhat small things: Take a q-tip, and roll your eyelid over the shaft to expose the object, so it can be flushed out with water.
For tiny things: Keep your eye open as long as possible. Tears will flush it out in 20-30 seconds.
For sharp or big things: Go to Urgent Care(Doctor) and don’t rub it.
4. Flush Your Eyes
How long should the eyes be washed?
Let’s sort this out. If the irritation is caused by soap or shampoo, five minutes are enough.
In case the irritation is caused by a chemical or alkali like sodium or calcium hydroxide, wash your eyes for at least 60 minutes. You need to seek expert advice in case of contact with chemicals.
If you don’t like the submerging technique, hold your eye in running tap water.
Tilt your head slightly, so the water runs through your eye. This tactic should also work.
But what if you get chilli pepper into your eyes? Do not wash it with water.
This can increase the burning sensation. Instead, wash it with milk. Its acidic components break down the hot particles in pepper that cause burning.
Make sure you get rid of any remaining chilli from your hands by dipping them in milk.
Do this before you rinse your eyes.
5. CLean Your Eyes With Water
Have you ever tried rinsing your eyes with water, but didn’t succeed?
I definitely seem to have a bit of bad luck in this department. Besides getting a mosquito in my eye, I have also once accidentally gotten lime juice in them.
Don’t Ask How!
Limes can cause a lot of drama when you’re hand juicing them. But the thing is that they cause your eyes to sting for quite a while. And the uncomfortable sensation doesn’t go away with just splashing your eyes in the water.
Even a simple dust particle can cause intense irritation with a burning sensation.
So what should you do?
We are here to introduce you to another technique – submerging your eyes in clean water.
It is pretty simple to do. All you will need is an eye cup or a bowl of water to get rid of the itchiness.
As you know, the eyes are very sensitive, so I advise you to disinfect the eye cup first.
Next, fill it halfway with freshwater or an eyewash solution. Keep the eye cup on the eye to be treated.
Make sure the cup is firmly pressed into your skin, so that no liquid is leaking.
lay back while still holding the cup tightly to your skin. Do not let water slide down from the sides. Slowly open your eyes. Can you feel the water? Your eyes will be submerged.
Move your eyes up and down, and side to side.
The liquid will wash your eyes thoroughly, removing the irritant and calming the irritation. If you do not have an eye cup, use a bowl of water but make sure you disinfect it. Especially the rims.
When using a water bowl, put your head in the bowl with your eyes wide open. Don’t have eyewash handy? You can make your own and store it.
Use it in emergency situations like these.
Here is a quick recipe to make a sterile solution at home.
You can use it as an eye rinse or a nose rinse for relief from the sinus.
When made correctly, saline rinse is just like distilled water. This recipe is for making 1% percent saline solution. You need 4 cups (0.95 l) of boiled water. And by boiled water, I mean the water should have been boiling for 20 minutes.
Cool it down.
Get 2 tablespoons of the non-iodized solution, a mixing utensil, and a disinfected airtight container with a fitting lid.
Sterilize your mixing utensil and the airtight container. Mix in the salt with the boiled water.
Stir until dissolved completely.
- Store in the container.
- Make sure you have disinfected your hands at the start as well.
- Your homemade eye rinse is ready!
What Are The Risks of doing it wrong?
Watering methods are preferable for everyday objects stuck in the eye. They can help remove objects without causing injury.
Here’s a list of what not to do:
- Don’t use dirty hands. Wash your hands before flushing out your eye. Using dirty hands may inadvertently get more objects in your eye or possibly lead to infection.
- Don’t scratch or rub your eye. Rubbing may cause the object to scratch or tear your cornea, risking worse injury, infection, and discomfort.
- Don’t use a towel or other piece of cloth. Using cloth or tissues to try to remove the object can lead to further eye scratching, tears, and discomfort.
- Don’t apply pressure to your eye. Applying pressure may lead to damage or worse injury
You've got the list of how to get something out of eye, right?
Now depending on the type of foreign body, its size, its location in the eye, how firmly embedded it is in the tissues of the eye, and the amount of irritation it causes, various things can happen.
So if it's a contact lens, it will probably either end up
- In either corner of the eye,
- Become irritating,
- Get covered with mucous,
- And would either be “blinked out” with lid movements
- Or become so irritating that you rubbed the eye, and it came out.
If it slides upward, it could get stuck under the upper lid and create an inflammatory reaction.
If it stayed long enough, it would either get covered by scar tissue, and form a foreign body granuloma, or it could get coated/contaminated with bacteria and cause a low-grade infection.
If it's a ferrous foreign body, it will rust. Small ones will rust and dissolve.
They could leave a permanent rust ring on the cornea. Larger ones would cause a lot of irritation and inflammation, and probably prompt you to see an ophthalmologist.
More On (how to get rid of something in your eye)...
Copper FB are toxic to eye tissues and need to be removed quickly. If they penetrate into the eye, they require to be removed immediately.
But then pretty much any FB that penetrates through the wall of the eye, into the eye, requires to be removed.
Some types of glass, plastic (PMMA for example), and stainless steel are better tolerated inside the eye for short periods.
If it's an organic material, plants, wood, etc. again it depends on the type of plant (some plants contain very irritating substances in their leaves or sap), and whether it is embedded and where.
Organic/plant materials that get into the eye carry a higher risk of causing fungal infections.
Almost anything embedded in the cornea, or embedded in the palpebral conjunctiva of the upper lid, will cause an enormous amount of discomfort.
The surface of the cornea has the second-highest amount of pain and sensory receptors anywhere in the body, so it is exquisitely sensitive to even small scratches and injuries.
Anything stuck under the upper lid will rub against or scratch the cornea every time the lid moves or blinks, so these need to be removed quickly also.
Superglue in the eye?
Don't try to remove it. Take the eye closed, and get to an ophthalmologist.
Time is on your side here. Waiting allows the superglue to gradually loosen and be removed with a surface layer of tissue as the cells are shed off.
Trying to pull the superglue off while it is freshly attached, tears off living tissues, and creates more damage.
Superglue is naturally antiseptic — it releases cyanide as it cures, so the risk of infection by waiting for it to loosen is very low.
I mean, there are thousands of things that you could get into your eyes, and they all have different risks. Tarantula hairs, metal pieces from grinding, sawdust, insects, etc.
A good rule of thumb is, if you can't rinse it out, and it doesn't come out by itself quickly.
How to get rid of something in your eye, final advice?
See an ophthalmologist or optometrist.
This is not medical advice. Medical advice is what you can (sometimes) get from your medical doctor after they have examined you.
Advice over the internet could be from a 9-year-old who has just watched a South Park episode, or a quack.
You are probably better off with the 9-year-old’s opinion.