We’ve all had something get into our eyes at one point or another in lives. Whether it’s an eyelash, a speck of dirt or a piece of dust, even something this tiny can cause a major amount of irritation to your eye. And while your first instinct might be to rub that particle away, it’s important to stop to think before taking action that might actually cause your eye more pain and damage. So to help you know what to do when you have an irritant in your eye, here are three strategies for safely getting debris out of your eye.
Let Your Body Do Its Job
Your body naturally doesn’t want to let things get into your eyes. That’s one of the reasons why you have eyelashes in the first place: to protect your eyes from foreign objects. So when something does come in contact with your eye, the U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends first letting your body try to work it out on its own. This will involve blinking a lot and trying to get your eye to tear in order to flush out the debris naturally. If the object is small, this is probably the safest way to remove an eye irritant because you don’t have to touch your eye, which goes a long way toward preventing infection.
Using A Liquid Eye Wash
When the object won’t come out on its own, the next best thing you can try is to wash your eye out with some type of liquid. Bausch.com, suggests using an eyewash solution if available. If it’s not, you can also use tap water to rinse out your eye. The best way to do this is to fill a container with water and then place your eye under the water so you can open your eyes and have it surrounded by water to flush out the irritant. If this is an impossibility, you could also use your hands to cup the water or a shower head, water fountain or hose to gently spray water into your eye.
Contacting The Eye
If washing your eye still doesn’t help and you can see the particle in your eye, you may want to try getting it out yourself before calling someone like Clear Vision Eye Centers. To do this, James Hubbard, M.D., M.P.H of TheSurvivalDoctor.com advises using a damp piece of clean cloth or a cotton swab to dab the object out. Be sure not to rub or pull the cloth or swab across your eye because you could scratch your eye or cause other damage.
Eyes are very sensitive to outside objects and getting something in them can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. So to help yourself feel comfortable, use the tips mentioned above to safely keep your eyes clear of particles and debris.