Itching, tearing, blinking and scratching...we all know the feeling of getting something in our eyes. Although this can be extremely uncomfortable, it isn't usually an emergency if it's just a hair or piece of dirt. However, it's important to know the right way to care for this problem at home. At Skowron Eye Care in Elmhurst, IL, our optometrists want our patients to be educated about proper eye care. Dr. Mark Skowron, Dr. Kerry John, Dr. Lavender Streiff and Dr. Neelam Patadia have compiled some information about caring for the eyes if a foreign object enters them.
Dirt in the eye
First, it's important to know that the fear of a foreign body traveling behind the eye is unfounded. Both the upper and lower eyelids block anything from going any further than a quarter of an inch.
If several particles of dirt, dust or sand have gotten into the eye, your Elmhurst optometrist at Skowron Eye Care suggests carefully cleaning the area around the eye with a dampened cloth to ensure no other particles get in. To remove the particles, you can either lower that side of your face into a pan of clean water and open and close the eye repeatedly or you can flush the eye out into a sink with a pitcher of warm water.
Larger, singular particles, like a hair, can usually be touched to the object and removed using a dampened cotton swab or corner of a napkin while looking in a mirror. The pan or pitcher method can be used if sweeping fails to bring results.
When to call your doctor
It can take up to two hours before the tearing and discomfort subsides. If after that amount of time you still feel as though there is something in the eye, please call our office. Exposure to glass fragments, chemicals, metal or sharp objects always warrant a call to Skowron Eye Care in Elmhurst for immediate evaluation. An emergency room visit may be necessary if the incident happens after office hours.
Maintaining your visual health is our priority, so please call Skowron Eye Care in Elmhurst, IL with any further questions you may have!