Foreign objects in the eye

Fact Checked

If you feel something in your eye, immediate removal is the first thing to do. If the object is small and has not penetrated your eye, you can treat it by flushing.

Sand in the eye

This can be a painful experience and it can cause scratches on the eye or an infection in the eye. Winds or a sand-throwing incident at the beach or anywhere else can cause sand in the eyes and proper application of first aid is important to minimize the injury in the eye and infections.

Foreign object in the eye
If the object is small and has not penetrated your eye, you can treat it by flushing.

First aid treatment for sand in the eye

  1. First wash your hands with an antibacterial soap. Cleanse the interior part of the eye with a cup or any drinking glass utilizing antibacterial soap. Wash thoroughly and eliminate any leftover soap.
  2. Fill with bottled water a cup or drinking glass to the top at room temperature. If bottle water is not available, run tap water for a few minutes before filling the cup in order to avoid water containing particles coming from the pipes.
  3. Place the cup with water on a flat surface and lower your face over the cup. Immerse the affected eye inside the water.
  4. Instruct the individual to blink the eye while immersed in the water to flush away the sand particles. It takes about 10 to 20 seconds of flushing to remove all particles of sand.
  5. Check the eye if there are any signs of eye infection within 48 hours after the sand is removed from the eyes. Every time a foreign object gets into your eyes, there is a possibility than an infection can develop. Some signs of infection are swelling, redness, pain and discomfort and an eye discharge.

When a metallic particle strikes the cornea or surface of the eyeball, it will stick to the structure. The exterior of the eyeball is moist; the metallic particle will begin to rust. It is important to immediately remove the corneal rust ring. If the particle is left in the cornea, it will cause recurrent corneal erosion. It is a condition where the cornea becomes scratched at random times as the rust moves through the cells on top of the cornea.

First aid treatment for rust ring in the eye

  1. Put one drop of topical anesthetic proparacaine 0.5-percent ophthalmic solution in the affected eye and wait for 20 seconds before touching the eyeball.
  2. Insert the eyelid speculum into the upper eyelid and to the lower eyelid. It is an eyelid clamp used to prevent the patient from blinking his or her eyes during the treatment.
  3. Position the individual under a slit lamp microscope and make sure that the chin is located at the chin rest and the head is alongside the head rest. Position the injured eye under the light beam of the microscope.
  4. Use a sterilized Alger Brush to remove the rust ring. Provide a fixed target for the opposite eye that moves the affected eye into a position where the rust ring can be easily removed. Spin the tip of the Alger brush to begin the rotation and will continue spinning towards the cornea and remove the entire rust ring in the eye.
  5. Use a sterile cotton tipped applicator in removing any dead corneal cells from the affected area.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • All content is reviewed by a medical professional and / sourced to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

  • We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable websites, academic research institutions and medical articles.

  • If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please contact us through our contact us page.

The information posted on this page is for educational purposes only.
If you need medical advice or help with a diagnosis contact a medical professional