First Aid: Something in Your Eye


Most of the time when you get something in your eye you can carefully remove it. In some cases, an object in your eye can scratch your cornea. A scratched cornea takes a couple of days to heal and may require treatment from your health care provider. If you get a chemical in your eye or something is embedded in your eye, you need immediate medical treatment. Follow the instructions below for treating your eye. Dr. Kirk and his team, located in Loveland, CO, are ready to start treatment today!

How do I remove a particle in my eye?

If something is imbedded in your eye (such as a glass fragment), do not try to remove it. Cover both eyes with a wet washcloth and have someone take you to an eye doctor or emergency room.

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To remove a loose eyelash, dirt particle, or other object in your eye:

  1. Wash your hands before touching your eyes.
  2. Look in a mirror and try to find the object in your eye.
  3. Try the following methods to remove the object:
  • Try to blink to allow your tears to wash it out. Do not rub your eye.
  • If the particle is behind your upper eyelid, pull the upper lid out and over the lower lid and roll your eye upward. This can help get the particle come off the upper lid and flush out of the eye.
  • If the object is in the corner of your eye or under your lower eyelid, remove it with a wet cotton swab or the corner of a clean cloth while holding the lower lid open.
  • Fill an eyecup or small juice glass with lukewarm water. Put your eye over the cup of water and open your eye to rinse your eye and flush the object out.
  • You can pour lukewarm water into your eye or hold your eye under a faucet to flush out your eye.

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Should I visit an eye doctor if I got a black eye?

A true black eye is a bruising of the skin and tissue surrounding your eye. If the injury is limited to bruising alone, you can likely take care of it with a cold compress at home and the bruising should be gone within a week or two. Sometimes a black eye includes more serious trauma. Symptoms of a potentially serious fracture or eye damage include:

  • Fever
  • Severe pain
  • Change in your vision or loss of vision
  • Bleeding from the eye or blood apparent in the eye
  • Fluid or pus from the eyes
  • Limited eye movement

You should seek emergency medical attention if you have loss of vision, a change in vision, an inability to move the eye in different directions, bleeding, and/or cuts on the eyelid or eye.

I have pain in my eye after getting a black eye, should I visit the emergency room or an eye doctor?

In most cases, pain with a black eye can be treated by an ophthalmologist. Having said that, you should trust your instincts and seek emergency medical care if you think you need it. If the pain is accompanied by bleeding, loss of or change in vision, inability to move the eye in all directions, or cuts on the eye or eyelid, then you should seek emergency medical care.

If you aren’t sure and get the pain during our office hours, please feel free to call our office and discuss your symptoms. We can help you decide what to do next.

What to do if you get a chemical in your eye

Chemical burns to the eyes are a medical emergency. Follow these steps if you get a chemical in your eyes.

  1. Immediately flush the eye with water by holding your head under the faucet or by pouring water into your eye from a clean container. Keep your eye open while flushing with water.
  2. Continue flushing out your eye for 15 to 30 minutes.
  3. After you flush your eye out, call your health care provider or have someone take you to the emergency department or urgent care center.
  4. If possible, take the container the chemical was in with you to the health care provider.

What should I do if I get metal, or wood, in my eyes?

If you cannot remove the object with the steps outlined above, then you should call our ophthalmologists. If the piece of metal or wood is stuck in the eye itself and not caught on the eyelid, then you should for sure call us to have the problem addressed. You should consider emergency medical attention if something is embedded in your eye and our office is closed.

How serious is it to get sand in your eyes?

Getting sand in your eye is a very uncomfortable feeling. Your eyes will likely be able to flush out the sand naturally. Don’t rub your eyes, but do blink gently and repeatedly. You may be able to irrigate your eyes and flush the sand out that way. Call our ophthalmology office if you continue to have problems.

I got hit in the eye with a baseball, is that dangerous for my vision?

Yes, a severe blunt force trauma like a baseball hitting your eye could potentially affect your vision. It depends on the resulting injury, which could include:

  • Bruising of the eyelid and/or area around the eye
  • Bruising of the eye itself
  • Fracture of the bone beneath your eye
  • Damage to the eyeball itself
  • A cut on the eyeball and/or eyelids

You should schedule a check-up with our eye doctors if you think the injury is serious. Call our office if you have questions about what to do after this type of eye injury.

When should I call my health care provider?

Call if:

  • You have severe or deep eye pain.
  • You still have eye pain or irritation 30 minutes after you have removed an object.
  • You have glass or a chemical in your eye.
  • You have questions or concerns.

Schedule a consultation in Loveland, CO today

If you believe you are in need of emergency eye care, seek our help now! For more information about these and other eye health topics, including disorders, diagnosis, treatment and more, please contact Kirk Eye Center using the form on this page or call us at 970-408-3246 today. Our Loveland practice serves patients throughout Northern Colorado, including Fort Collins, Windsor and other nearby areas.

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