Treating a foreign object in the eye

Dealing with Foreign Objects in the Eye

Having a foreign object in the eye is not just disconcerting but can also be painful. Typical symptoms include redness and excessive watering, which is the body’s instinctive mechanism to expel the intruding item. Various things, ranging from dust and insects to grass seeds and lint, can find their way into one’s eye.

If someone has an object in their eye:

  1. Do Not Rub: First and foremost, advise the individual against rubbing their eye. Doing so risks exacerbating the situation, either by causing scratches or pushing the item deeper.
  2. Stabilise the Eye: To prevent involuntary movements, covering both eyes can be helpful. Because our eyes move in tandem, immobilising one eye will inadvertently stabilise the other.
  3. Wash the Eye: With gloves on, gently tilt the person’s head to enable you to rinse out the eye without the debris moving to the unaffected eye. Use saline solution or specific eye wash to flush the object out.
  4. Gently Remove the Object: Sometimes, the foreign body might migrate to an eye corner and become visible. In such instances, you can cautiously use the corner of a tissue or soft cloth to extract it.
  5. Post Removal: Encourage the person not to touch or rub their eye afterwards. This minimises the risk of re-introducing the object or exacerbating any irritation.
  6. Seek Medical Assistance if Needed: If the problem persists or if there’s any cause for concern, don’t hesitate to consult a medical professional.

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