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Foreign Body Removal

1. I have sand stuck in my eye, is it dangerous?

A foreign object in the eye often causes redness, irritation, discomfort, scratchy sensation, excessive blinking, tearing, light sensitivity, and blurry vision. If you think you have something stuck in your eye, it is important to get treatment as soon as possible to prevent scratches, infections, and potential vision damage.

2. I have something stuck in my eye. How should I remove it?

In some cases, it is possible to remove an object from the eye without professional help, but you should never rub the eye or stick something in the eye (like a cotton swab or tweezers) to do so. Simply flush the eye with water, saline solution, or artificial tear eye drops until the irritation or object is removed.

If the irritation does not resolve or continues to get worse over several hours, it may be necessary to seek additional help. In these cases, you should contact your eye doctor as soon as possible to determine the best solution for your situation.

3. I feel like I have dirt in my eye when I wear contact lenses, is that dangerous?

Most contact lens wearers will feel like they have dirt in their eyes at one time or another. This sensation may be caused by allergies, dry eyes, dry lenses, old lenses, improperly fit lenses, or something on the surface of the lenses (like makeup or dirt). Over time, these conditions can lead to irritation and infection, so it is important to address the problem as soon as you notice it.

If you feel like you have dirt in your eyes, do not rub your eyes. This will only make the problem worse and may even cause tiny scratches on the front surface of your eyes (which can be very painful). First, try using several drops of artificial tears (approved for contacts) in each eye to relieve the discomfort. If this does not resolve the problem, try removing the contact lenses and rinsing them with a multipurpose or sterile saline solution. Be sure to rub both sides of the lenses in the palm of your hand, while rinsing, to remove any dirt or debris that may be trapped on the lenses.

If your eyes are still uncomfortable after lubricating, rinsing, and rubbing the lenses, the problem may be more serious. Remove the lenses and contact your eye doctor as soon as possible.

4. I spilled a chemical in my eye, what should I do?

If any type of chemical ever gets into your eyes, you should immediately flush the eyes with cool water (from an eye wash station, sink, shower, etc) for 15-30 minutes. Be sure to hold the eyelids open (with clean fingers) for maximum rinsing effect.

Then, if possible, get the name, container, or product label associated with the chemical, and call your eye doctor immediately. If you cannot get in contact with your doctor, call Poison Control or go to the nearest emergency room for treatment as soon as possible.

5. I spilled some chemical in my eye, should I remove my contacts or leave them in?

If the contact lenses did not come out during the flushing process, it is important to remove them as soon as possible.