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Eye Health Center

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Objects in the Eye - Home Treatment

First aid for objects in the eye

  • Don't rub your eye, because this could scratch the outer surface (cornea) of the eye. You may have to keep small children from rubbing their eyes.
  • Wash your hands before touching your eye.
  • If you wear contact lenses, take the contacts out before trying to remove the object or flush your eye.
  • If an object is over the dark center (pupil) of the eye or over the colored part (iris) of the eye, you may try to gently flush it out with water. If the object does not come out with flushing, put on dark glasses, and call your doctor. Do not put any pressure on the eye.
  • If the object is on the white part (sclera) of the eye or inside the lower lid, wet a cotton swab camera.gif or the tip of a twisted piece of tissue and touch the end to the object. The object should cling to the swab or tissue. Some minor irritation is common after you have removed the object in this way.
  • Gently flush the eye with cool water. A clean eyedropper may help. Many times the object will be under the upper eyelid and can be removed by lifting the upper lid away and flushing gently.
  • Do not try to remove a piece of metal, an object that has punctured the eye, or an object stuck on the eye after flushing with water.
  • Never use tweezers, toothpicks, or other hard items to remove any object. Using these items could cause eye damage.
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