How to Properly Flush a Foreign Object from the Eye

Whenever dirt or sand gets into our eyes, it seems like we tear up, blink a few times, and the nuisance is gone. While small foreign objects are easily flushed by the eye’s natural responses, larger objects might be more difficult to manage. Foreign objects in the eye can be painful and alarming. Knowing how to properly flush an object from the eye can help relieve pain and other symptoms while preserving your vision.

Finding the Foreign Object

Before an object can be flushed, it must be found. Minor foreign objects like dirt, grass, or a stubborn eyelash should be easily viewed in the eye. Follow these steps to find the object:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly
  • Find a well-lit area and a clear mirror to look in
  • Look up, down, and to each side to locate the object
  • If the object seems to be on the bottom eyelid, gently grasp the lower eyelid and pull down to view inside the eyelid
  • If the object seems to be on the upper eyelid, use a cotton swab placed on the upper eyelid and fold the top eyelid back over the swab to look inside the upper eyelid

Flushing the Foreign Object

Once you’ve found the object, you can begin to flush it out. If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them if at all possible before flushing the eye. Flush the eye from the inner corner to the outer corner to avoid getting the foreign object in the other eye. Hold the eyelids open while the eye is being flushed. You may choose to enlist someone else’s help in flushing the eye to help make it easier. There are several methods for flushing the eye:

  • Use an eye wash solution to cleanse the eye
  • Place the eye under a gently running tap at room temperature
  • Stand in the shower with the eye under the running water
  • Submerge the eye in a shallow bowl or dish filled with clean water
  • Use a large pitcher to pour water into the eye
  • If outdoors, use a slow running hose to wash the eye

Do’s and Don’ts for Eye Flushing

  • DO use plenty of water to flush out the object
  • DON’T use alcohol or any other household substance to flush the eye
  • DO contact your doctor if you experience continued irritation, redness, sensitivity to light, or vision changes
  • DON’T attempt to flush an object that has punctured they eye; seek medical attention immediately

Contact an Eye Doctor for Support

Having a foreign object in your eye can be a scary experience. If you are unable to remove a foreign object, a foreign object has punctured your eye, or if you have any concerns following eye flushing, don’t hesitate to seek help from an eye doctor. The doctors at Advanced Eye Medical are ready to assist you with any foreign object eye concerns. Call them today at 1-888-439-6565 get the relief you need.