What should I do if something is stuck in my eye (foreign body)

It is important not to rub your eye when something gets into it. The reason is that rubbing may cause scratching and corneal abrasions.

What should I do if something is stuck in my eye (foreign body) in Olympia

What should I do if a toddler or baby has something stuck in their eye?

In the case that your child gets something in their eyes, make sure that they don't rub them. You can swaddle babies if they get something in their eyes.

American Family Vision Clinic

What are the symptoms of foreign bodies in the eyes?

Symptoms of a foreign body in the eye include:

  • A sharp pain followed by burning and irritation in your eye
  • You have a feeling that there is something in your eye
  • Watery and red eye
  • Blinking causes a scratchy feeling
  • The affected eye becomes blurry or loses its sight
  • Sensitivity to bright lights
  • An injury that results in bleeding into the white of the eye (subconjunctival hemorrhage).

If you notice any of these symptoms or experience sudden changes in your vision and find it difficult for you to perform your daily activities, please schedule an eye exam with our eye doctor in Olympia.

How do I remove a particle in my eye?

If you have something embedded in your eye like a glass fragment, do not try to remove it. Have someone take you to the eye doctor or emergency room and cover both eyes with a wet washcloth.

Remove a loose eyelash, a dirt particle, or an object from your eye by:

  1. Wash your hands before touching your eyes.
  2. Examine your eye in a mirror and look for the object.
  3. Remove the object by trying the following methods:
  • You can try blinking to wash it away with your tears.
  • To remove a particle from behind your upper eyelid, pull the upper lid out and over the lower lid and roll your eye upwards. The particle will be flushed out of the eye after it comes off the upper lid.
  • If the object is under your lower eyelid or in the corner of your eye, use a wet cotton swab or corner of a clean cloth to remove it.
  • You can use a small juice glass or cup filled with lukewarm water. Open your eye and place it over the cup of water to rinse the object out of your eye.
How do I remove a particle in my eye?
When should you seek professional help?

When should you seek professional help?

In general something stuck in your eye should be looked at by an eye doctor after attempting to follow the steps above. Following are some of the situations which require immediate medical attention:

  • You've been poked in the eye by something.
  • Your eye has been pierced and something is stuck in it. Do not attempt to remove it yourself.
  • When you can't see anything in your eye after trying to get it out, but it still feels like there's something there.
  • Your eye bleeds.
  • You can't close your eye.
  • Despite removing the object, your eye doesn't feel better or gets worse.
When should you seek professional help?

How are foreign objects in the eye treated?

Treatment for foreign objects in the eye depends on what the object is, and how much contact it has made with the eye. Small foreign objects include dust, grit, or an eyelash that can be easily removed at home.

Seek medical attention immediately if there are larger foreign bodies or foreign bodies that have penetrated the eye. A professional eye care provider should be consulted if you have questions about the severity of the injury.

We encourage you to call our eye care clinic at (360) 491-2121. In many cases our eye doctor will want to examine your eye and will schedule you for an emergency eye exam. They may use different kinds of drops in your eyes, such as:

  • Medications that numb your eyes
  • Dye to see if there are any scratches on your eyeballs
  • Medications that enlarge your pupils

It is possible that your doctor will flush the object out of your eye. They may also use needles or other instruments to get it out. When the object penetrates your eyeball and becomes stuck inside your eye, you might have to have a special X-ray or ultrasound done to see where exactly it is. 

A superficial corneal injury can be treated with an ointment. Some eye ointments contain muscle-relaxants or antibiotics . Eye-muscle-relaxants make the pupil dilate a lot, causing the eye to become temporarily more sensitive to light and blurring your vision. You can use a painkiller like ibuprofen to relieve any pain in your eye. Painkillers are available as eye drops or tablets. Antibiotic eye ointment could be prescribed by your doctor to prevent an infection.

Should I patch my eye after having something stuck in it?

Eye patches usually aren't used for minor eye injuries. Studies have shown that they don't speed up the healing process, and could in fact slow it down. Only being able to see through one eye isn't only frustrating, it can also increase the risk of further accidents. You need both eyes to be able to judge how close or far away things are.

How do I remove a particle in my eye?

Common Questions

If you get a foreign body stuck in your eye; don't rub your eye, touch it, or apply pressure to it or attempt to remove it. The first step that you should do is to call our office in order to get specific guidance on your eye emergency, you can reach us at (360) 491-2121. Apply only medications or ointments prescribed by your eye doctor for the treatment of your injury to your eye. It is possible to suffer severe eye injuries even after a light impact. In the event of swelling, discoloration, pain, or visual disturbances, seek medical attention immediately.
What should I do if something is stuck in my eye (foreign body)
Dr. Zurcher cartoon


To make sure your eye is healing properly and your vision is fine, our eye doctor may need to see you again. Make sure you do not miss this appointment. Although you may feel better, your eye may not have fully healed. A follow-up is needed to ensure the treatment has been effective. You can schedule an eye exam by calling (360) 491-2121. Patients with eye emergencies visit our clinic from all over Washington, and we are proud to be a leading provider of urgent eye care for patients from Olympia, Lakewood, Tacoma, and Lacey.


Such a nice optician. My grandson is only 4 and needs glasses. We were so sad, but he explained the issues, and we will follow up as he suggested.

Anna P.

I had such a good experience with the clinic. Very friendly staff and doctor, did not have to wait for long to be called, and was treated respectfully. Thanks, American Family.

June S.

Dr. Zurcher has gone above and beyond what any other eye doctor has ever done to figure out what is going on with my eyes. Very happy with American Family Vision.

Christine R.

Family Vision Clinic changed our lives! My daughter was frequently car sick, and she was getting headaches every day, often painful enough that they brought her to tears. We saw a string of doctors and therapists, but we made no progress. Finally, we found Dr. Levi Zurcher and his eye therapist Rain. After ten weeks of eye therapy my daughter no longer gets headaches, and she no longer gets car sick. Daily tears are a thing of the past. I really can’t say enough about this clinic. It was fascinating to watch Dr. Zurcher work. For the first time, someone who knew what they were doing was intently studying my daughter, really trying to figure out all of her eye issues, and his therapist Rain is one of the most patient and lovely people that I’ve ever had the good fortune to meet. We’re finished with eye therapy—yay!—and I have switched to American Family Vision Clinic for all of my family’s other eye health needs.

Lars Wulff

Very professional, yet kind and helpful. They do what they can to make the appointment comfortable. I was running a bit late, I made sure ti call. They were able to switch me with a patient who was already there, they treated me with respect, and helped my son have confidence by getting him the eye care he needed that day. Thank you so much! Would recommend to anyone. It's a blessing that they care enough to work with people who have all different types of insurance from work to state coverage.

Justin E.

The staff is friendly. The Doc is very knowledgeable. The office is family friendly and everyone is so patient with the little ones.

Amy Fagerness
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