The eye will often flush out tiny objects, like eyelashes and sand, through blinking and tearing. Do not rub the eye if there is something in it. Wash your hands before examining it.
Examine the eye in a well-lighted area. To find the object, look up and down, then from side to side.
Contact your health care provider and do NOT treat yourself if:
If you have been hammering, grinding, or could have come in contact with metal fragments, do NOT attempt any removal. Go to the nearest emergency room immediately.
Foreign body; Particle in the eye
Knoop KJ, Dennis WR, Hedges JR. Ophthalmologic procedures. In: Roberts JR, Hedges JR, eds. Clinical Procedures in Emergency Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2013:chap 62.
Butler FK. The eye in the wilderness. In: Auerbach PS, ed. Wilderness Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Mosby Elsevier; 2011:chap 28.
Crouch ER, Crouch ER, Grant TR. Ophthalmology. In: Rakel RE, ed. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 41.
Updated by: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 1997-2014, A.D.A.M., Inc. Duplication for commercial use must be authorized in writing by ADAM Health Solutions.