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How Do I Get an Eyelash Out of My Eye?

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A woman begins to rub her eyes due to having an eye lash stuck in her eye.

It’s downright irritating when you get something caught in your eye. It’s even worse when one of your eyelashes stops protecting your eye and becomes the irritant itself. But how do you safely remove the culprit?

Locate where the eyelash is then use a cotton swab to gently touch it and remove the eyelash. If that doesn’t work, flush your eye with clean water or saline and blink repeatedly. If it continues to be an issue, contact an eye care clinic. Most optometrists offer emergency eye care services that can help you with this problem.

How to Identify Where the Eyelash Is in Your Eye

Always wash your hands with soap and water before touching your eye. If you don’t, you can cause even more irritation to your eye.

Then, look in a mirror and examine your eye closely. Try to focus on the area where you feel the irritation. 

If you can’t see the eyelash, gently pull down your lower eyelid to help reveal the object in your eye. Then follow the steps below to remove the eyelash. 

Removing An Eyelash from Your Eye

  1. Use a clean tissue or cotton swab to gently lift your upper eyelid. You can also do this by looking down with your head tilted back.
  2. Look in the mirror and relocate the eyelash. It may be on the white part of your eye or inside your eyelid.
  3. Use a damp cotton swab or tissue to gently touch the eyelash. Be careful not to touch your eye with your fingers or the cotton swab.
  4. If the eyelash is still in your eye after several attempts, you may need to flush it out with clean, filtered water or saline solution. Use a clean cup, bowl, or eyedropper to pour the water or saline into your eye.
  5. If you experience pain, redness, or irritation after removing the eyelash, contact your optometrist.
A close-up view of a woman's clear eye.

What to Do to Prevent Further Problems

When an eyelash gets stuck in your eye, it can be uncomfortable and even painful. Here are some helpful tips to keep in mind when dealing with this situation:

  • Remove contact lenses: If you wear contact lenses, take them out before attempting to remove the eyelash to prevent further irritation or damage to your eye.
  • Wash your hands: Before touching your eye, always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water to help prevent the spread of bacteria and infections.
  • Use a clean cotton swab: Never use tweezers or other sharp objects near your eyes. Instead, use a clean cotton swab to gently touch the eyelash and try to lift it out of your eye.
  • Blink or flush your eye: If you’re having trouble removing the eyelash, try blinking or flushing your eye to help dislodge the eyelash and make it easier to remove.
  • Avoid driving or operating sensitive equipment: If you have discomfort or pain in your eye, avoid driving or using any sensitive equipment until the issue has been resolved.
  • Don’t panic: It’s important to stay calm and focused when trying to remove something from your eye. 

With these tips, you can safely and effectively remove the eyelash and return to your daily routine.

Are There Long-Term Side Effects?

An eyelash stuck in your eye can cause redness, tearing, and sensitivity to light. However, if the eyelash is removed promptly, there are usually no long-term complications.

In some rare cases, if an eyelash is left in the eye for an extended period, it can scratch the eye’s surface, leading to infection and other complications. 

Seek medical help if you got the eyelash out but experience:

  • Eye pain
  • The feeling that something is in your eye
  • Watery eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Red eyes
  • Sensitivity to light 
  • Swollen eyes or eyelids

To prevent getting an eyelash stuck in your eye, keep your hands and face clean and avoid rubbing your eyes. If you wear contact lenses, follow the proper hygiene and care practices to prevent irritation and infection.

Overall, having an eyelash stuck in your eye is common and can be a bothersome experience, but if handled correctly, there are usually no long-term issues. 

Other Causes of Eye Irritation

If you can’t locate the troublesome eyelash, there may be another possible cause of your eye irritation, such as:

Your eye doctor can help determine the underlying cause of your symptoms and provide the appropriate treatment.

In the meantime, you can use over-the-counter eye drops or a warm compress to soothe your eyes and alleviate discomfort. 

Always avoid rubbing your eyes, as this can further irritate them and lead to infection.

Your York Mills Optometrist Is Here to Help

No matter your eye care needs, York Mill Eye Care is here for you. From routine checkups to emergency eye care, you can find the help you deserve with our experienced team. Book an appointment today!

Written by Dr. Vagners

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