First Aid Tips: What To Do When There’s Something In Your Eye

Don't panic and don't rub! Just rinse, rinse, rinse. Here's how you do it.

Our eyes are so powerful and so very essential to us; it’s no wonder we panic when something foreign gets in there. But panicking is the worse thing we can do. If you have a mishap, these tips will help you keep calm, apply proper treatment, and seek medical attention when warranted.

First Things First

DO NOT RUB YOUR EYE. It’s going to be your first instinct, but rubbing the affected eye can cause more damage.

Fortunately, the remedy for something stuck in your eye or irritation of the eye is usually a relatively simple one, rinse, rinse and rinse again!

How To Rinse Your Eyes 

AGAIN…DON’T PANIC! Yes, it is painful and very irritating, but do not panic. To rinse your eyes effectively, you must be patient and trust the process…

  • Run the water: Turn on the faucet, sink, or shower at a mild temperature. You will let the running water do the majority of the work here.
  • Wash your hands: You don’t want to risk an infection in the eye.
  • Rinse your eyes: Irrigate your eyes by simply letting the water run over your face and eyes for no less than 15 minutes. 
  • Blink often as the water is running. Blinking will help to push out whatever is in your eye as the water is running over them.
  • Rest your eyes: Once you have rinsed for the full 15 minutes, rest your eyes. Lie down and place a cold compress over your eyes for about 20 minutes.
  • Reassess the symptoms: How do your eyes feel after removing the cold compress? Does it still feel like something is in there when blinking? Blurrier vision in the affected eye? Any light sensitivity? If so, repeat the steps above. You should see a doctor for further treatment if symptoms persist after rinsing twice.  

Helpful Things To Remember

  • Pain is a good thing, as odd as that sounds. Pain (a little bit) tells you something is wrong and that you should seek medical attention.
  • Most eye irritants require the same process as listed above. Although some chemical irritants are more potent, they still require irrigation to clear the eyes.
  • Read product labels for guidance. Often there are specific instructions for first aid.
  • Pay extra attention to children, as they often have trouble explaining their symptoms, especially vision issues. Watch for constant eye rubbing as a possible sign.

Eye Safety Is Very Important

It is so important to take steps to protect our eyes. For example, wear eye protection when working with heavy equipment or doing yard work that may fling things toward the eyes. Also, avoid known irritants and wash your hands before touching your face or eyes.

Where Can You Go If You Need Eye Help? 

Still having irritation in your eyes after rinsing? If you feel you have a vision-threatening condition, you should visit the closest emergency room. These situations might include chemicals in the eyes or embedded particles that you cannot rinse out. If you experience loss of vision in one or more of your eyes, you should definitely visit the ER as quickly as possible.

If you have a small particle in the eye, eye infection, or irritations caused by allergies, we can help. Visit Advanced Urgent Care & Aesthetics at one of our convenient locations, and one of our highly trained and friendly providers will get you feeling better and on your way quickly! 

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