Foreign Objects in the Eye

If you get a foreign object in the eye, try to flush it out with clean water or saline solution. Use an eyecup or a small, clean glass positioned with its rim resting on the bone at the base of your eye socket.

Helping Someone with Something in their Eye

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Seat the person in a well-lighted area.
  3. Gently examine the eye to find the object. Pull the lower lid down and ask the person to look up. Then hold the upper lid while the person looks down.
  4. If the object is floating in the tear film on the surface of the eye, try flushing it out. If you’re able to remove the object, flush the eye with a saline solution or clean, lukewarm water.


  • Don’t try to remove an object that’s imbedded in the eyeball.
  • Don’t rub the eye.
  • Don’t try to remove a large object that makes closing the eye difficult.

Seek emergency medical assistance when:

  • You can’t remove the object.
  • The object is imbedded in the eyeball.
  • The person with the object in the eye is experiencing abnormal vision.
  • Pain, redness or the sensation of a foreign body in the eye persists after the object is removed.

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