When you get something in your eye, the very last thing you want to do is rub at it, which can burrow the object in deeper and possibly cause it to scratch you. From contact lenses (don’t you freakin hate when they ball up on you and jam themselves in your eye?) to cat hair to actual splinters (OK ouch) here are the ways to get debris out of your eye safely and aftercare to make sure you don’t look like you have Pinkeye.
First, open your eye WIDE open with your fingers and roll your eye around. The air dries up your eye making it tear up and lubricate the eye naturally, and rolling your eye around does 3 things. First, it draws attention to you from other people so you’ll get free help (ha ha, I’m kidding here, but a few extra hands never hurt in a situation like this), it allows your eye movement to potentially dislodge the affecting object, and it allows you to centralize the discomfort so you have a better idea where the thingy in your eye actually is. After about 5 seconds of holding your eye wide open, let it close and blink rapidly a few times. Don’t squeeze your eye shut and put pressure on your eyelids, just blink a lot, getting the moisture to move around the eye.
If the pain persists, the object is still there. Take a cotton swab wetted with water to avoid disturbing the eye and gently roll the q-tip around your eye rims (where you would normally put eyeliner) to see if this dislodges the object. Get the goop out of the corner of your eye to see if that has the object in it. Often you can pull out an animal hair along with an eye buger for instant relief.
If this fails to dislodge the object, hold out the upper eyelid and gently swab underneath. This is where most debris ends up when it’s been lodged for a while. If this fails to pull out the offending object, flush the eyes with saline solution (contact solution), holding the eye wide open with your fingers. You can also use regular cold or warm water, or for further relief use cool parsley tea that has been strained and flush your eye with that. The parsley tea has natural antibodies and as an anti-inflammatory will ease the redness in the eye and the swelling around it while providing a cooling (almost numbing) sensation as well.
If flushing your eye doesn’t work, hold open the eyeball again and allow your eye to tear and flush out the object. If it fails to dislodge after numerous attempts, you should see a doctor, as you could possibly have a stye in your eye, or the object could have embedded itself and may be serious.
Under no circumstances should you touch your eyeball with your fingers directly or rub your eyes! Also, putting in anti-redness eye drops excessively can actually make the redness worse. If you cannot stand the pain, put numbing drops in your eyes, a common product contact wearers use. It makes your eyes feel drunk (it’s weird, but it’s true) and makes them feel lazy but it will numb your eye and keep you out of it until you can get medical help. You can get eye-numbing drops in the eye care section at your local drugstore, and it is commonly mixed in with either the contact stuff or the remedies for Pinkeye and works to relieve you discomfort for a while while you seek medical help.
To avoid getting debris in your eyes, wear protective lenses when dealing with airborne sand, sawdust and while in the wind. Of course, if you have pets getting pet hair in your eye is just par for the course, but washing your hands after handling your pets and brushing your pets to manage their hair is a great way to at least try to keep the hair from your eye.