Almost everyone has experienced an irritation in the eye caused by invisible particles floating in the atmosphere. The most common foreign objects to enter the eyes are dusts, sands, little fibers and occasionally tiny fur or eyelash. But some severe cases are brought about by carelessness while doing work without the use of eye protections when it was duly required.
A person would immediately feel if a foreign matter comes in contact with their eyes. Other than the pain, the particle can be felt by closing the lids or moving the eyes around. Once the irritation kicks in, it is usually followed by tearing or watery eyes. If an eye irritation persists the eyes will start reddening, this could mean that the object is still on your eyes; or if the object was already removed but a trace of redness is still visible and pain is still there then it’s possible that the object left a scar within the eyes or the redness and inflammation was induced when they tried to rub away the tiny fragment.
What can be used to remove a foreign object on the eyes?
Eyewash solution, eye drops, or saline works best, but if none is available nearby, tap water or fountain faucets can be used. Although, be mindful in using shower hose for clearing the eyes of foreign object, make sure that the falling water is not directly pointed at the eyes as it can give uncontrolled pressure on the eye’s surface.
The most important point in using water to wash foreign items off the eyes is applying a generous amount. But if the object still can’t be taken out, manual removal needs to initiated. Tissues, cotton buds, or cotton balls can be used in this procedure. Wash your hands first and then dip the tip of the cotton in water to remove any fiber that can worsen the eye irritation. Dab it where the object lies on the eyes and be cautious not to swipe the eyeballs when doing this.
Now, if this happens to someone else, what do you have to do?
Obviously, you need to wash your hands first. After proper sanitation, place or seat that person in a well lit area, and then examine where the object lies. Ask him/ her to look in the opposite direction where the foreign matter is. If it’s in the lower half of the eye, pull the lower lid down and ask the person to look up; if it’s in the upper half of the eye, pull the upper lid up and ask the person to look down; if it’s in-between and placed on the right or left side of the eyes, you can just open the lids wide enough for them not to touch the object.
This time it is not wise to dab anything on the eyes; you can’t risk the chances of hurting a person’s eye. What you can do, if no eye drops or saline are available, is to wet the cotton balls generously, but don’t squeeze the water out. The wet cotton ball can be a substitute for eye drops. Once you have determined where the foreign object is, squeeze and repeat the steps until the object is out of the person’s eyes.
But take heed that not all foreign objects on the eyes can be easily removed by water. There are cases where an eye starts to bleed or lose its vision if the foreign object has caused severe damage to a person’s eye. If not treated immediately, this can cause a great loss not only on your eyes but to your overall health as well.
You can tell a situation is serious when the object is embedded in the eyes (such as sharp 3d objects); when the object is causing the eyes to bleed; or when the object is preventing the eyes to open up or close — When this happens immediately see an Eye Doctor. Surgery would be required if removal treatments won’t do.