Check Your Symptoms
It's not uncommon for a speck of dirt or a
small object, such as an eyelash or makeup, to get in your eye. Usually your
natural tears will wash the object out. Objects may scratch the surface of the
eye (cornea) or may become stuck on the eye. If the
cornea is scratched, it can be hard to tell when you
have gotten the object out, because a scratched cornea may feel painful and as
though something is still in the eye. Most corneal scratches are minor and heal
on their own in 1 or 2 days.
See a picture of the
Small objects traveling at high speed
or sharp objects traveling at any speed can cause serious injury to many parts
of the eyeball. Injury may cause bleeding, a
change in the size or shape of the pupil, a film over
the eye lens, or damage to the inside of the eyeball. These objects may become
embedded deep in the eye and may require medical treatment.
in the eye can be prevented by using protective eyewear.
Wear safety glasses, goggles, or face shields when working with power tools
or chemicals or doing any activity that might cause an object or substance to
get into your eyes. Some professions, such as health care and construction, may
require workers to use protective eyewear to reduce the risk of foreign objects
or substances or body fluids getting in the eyes.
about other types of eye injuries, such as blows to the eye, see the topic
Check your symptoms to decide if
and when you should see a doctor.
This site requires ActiveX controls and plug-ins to be enabled. If not already installed, the Free Adobe Flash Plugin is available for download.
Applying first aid measures for
an eye injury in a child may be difficult depending on the child's age, size,
and ability to cooperate. Having another adult help you treat the child is
helpful. Stay calm and talk in a soothing voice. Use slow, gentle movements to
help the child remain calm and cooperative. A struggling child may need to be
held strongly so that first aid can be started and the seriousness of the eye
Talk to your child’s doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
The following tips may help prevent eye
Eye injuries are common in children, and many can be
prevented. Most eye injuries happen in older children. They occur more often in
boys than in girls. Toys—from crayons to toy guns—are a major source of injury,
so check all toys for sharp or pointed parts.
Teach children about
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
If you have an object
in the eye that affects your vision, have someone else drive you to your
doctor. If you are wearing contact lenses, remove them, and take your glasses
You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your
condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:
December 23, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
To learn more visit Healthwise.org
© 1995-2012 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.