How to Remove Something from Your Eye

Two Methods:Removing Minor IrritantsRemoving Large/Dangerous Items

Having something lodged in your eye is never pleasant, regardless of the size or origin of the debris. Whether you have a spec of dust or a piece of glass stuck in your eye, it is important that you take steps to clear it out and avoid damaging your eye. Read on below the jump for instructions on removing something, big or small, from your eyes.

Method 1
Removing Minor Irritants

  1. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 1
    Avoid rubbing your eyes. It is often instinctual to rub your eye when something has gotten into it, but this can actually be quite dangerous. If you rub your eye, the trapped particle will be pushed into your eye under the lid, possibly scratching the cornea. If this occurs, permanent eye damage may occur, along with a lot of pain. Try not to apply pressure or rub your eyes at all, to avoid this.
  2. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 2
    Blink your eyes rapidly. Although it can certainly be very uncomfortable to have dust, hair, or another small item stuck in your eye, your body’s natural response of blinking is the best way to clear it out. Blink rapidly to help move the debris, and allow any tears that may form to clear it out. The more you blink and cry, the better chance you have of removing the particle. Although you may feel silly crying, the tears will naturally wash out the debris.
  3. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 3
    Pull out your eyelids. Sometimes, a small item may get stuck in your eye and then trapped under the lid. You should attempt to remove it by blinking first, and then pull out the lid and blink some more. This should move the debris out from under your lid as you blink, but the process can be repeated if it doesn’t work at first.[1]
  4. Image titled 44699 4
    Rinse your eyes with water. If you have an eye cup (used for rinsing eyes), use that to wash out your eyes with cool, clean water. Otherwise, use a small bowl or cup full of water and splash the water into your open eye. You can also place your open eye under a gently-pouring faucet to rinse it out. The water won’t damage your eyes at all, so don’t be afraid to open your eyes to get water in them.
  5. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 5
    Use a swab or damp cloth on your eyes. Sometimes, it may be easier to directly wipe an item out of your eyes if you can see it easily (such as a spec of dirt). Dampen a small cotton swab, tissue, or cloth with clean water, and gently press (don’t rub!) the swab onto the spot in your eye. Be careful of rubbing or applying pressure to the cornea, as this is the most sensitive and will cause the most pain when touched. If your cloth/swab was white, you should be able to see when the debris has been removed.
  6. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 6
    Have a friend help you. If you’re having difficulty getting the particle out of your eye and can’t see it in a mirror, you should turn to a friend for help. Lift up your eyelids and have them look to see where the debris is. If you are comfortable with it, you may want to have them use a cotton swab to dab the item out of your eyes. Otherwise, rinse out your eyes with water to try to remove it.[2]
  7. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 7
    Use eye drops. The purpose of eye drops is to flush the eye in the absence of tears or water. If you can’t seem to cry and blink out the debris, you can add a few drops of an eye solution to help hasten the process. Follow the bottle directions for your eye drops to determine how much to place in each eye.

Method 2
Removing Large/Dangerous Items

  1. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 8
    Determine what is in your eye. If the debris or item stuck in your eye is relatively noninvasive, even if it is large (like a clod of dirt), you may not need to do anything special to get it out. If, however, the item stuck in your eye is inserted in the eye or is in any way dangerous - such as a shard of glass, chemicals, or another sharp/toxic item - you will need to seek medical attention immediately. Do not attempt to remove the object on your own.
    • If you experience severe pain as a result of the item in your eye, you should visit a doctor.
    • If the irritant has been present for over 30 minutes, you should seek medical attention.
  2. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 9
    Rinse your eye for 15-30 minutes. If the item that is lodged in your eye has been determined to be dangerous, you will need to use constant washing with clean water to help keep the area clean and to help clear out the object. Use an eye cup to rinse your eyes, or keep your open eye under a gently running stream of tap water. It is fine to take breaks, but try to keep flushing your eye with water for as long as possible.
    • This is especially important for chemical or toxic items in your eyes.
  3. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 10
    Place a damp cloth over your eye. As you travel to visit a doctor or to seek medical attention, you should keep your eye covered up with a damp cloth. Soak a clean cloth in cool water and place it over your eye with gentle pressure. Do not rub or dab the cloth on your eye, simply hold it over as protection.
  4. Image titled Remove Something from Your Eye Step 11
    Seek medical attention. Large items should always be removed from the eye by a doctor or trained professional. If the item is stuck inside of the eye, minor surgery may be required to remove it. Otherwise, the doctor may numb your eye and pull out the object, giving you an eye patch to protect it afterwards as it heals.Arrrrrrgg!!![3]


  • Never poke or touch your pupils with your fingers.
  • Make sure you use clean pure water. Using drinking water is best.

Article Info

Categories: Eye Care