Our eyelids and eyelashes usually keep objects (or foreign bodies) such as dust
out of the eye, but sometimes
things get through.
More to Know
To prevent damage to the eye, any object that isn't washed out right away by tears
must be removed. The foreign body can be removed from the eye either with irrigation
(washing with water) or a small sterile instrument. A harmless dye (fluorescein) is
usually applied to the eye's surface to help the doctor see the object. This
dye temporarily stains tears, nasal drainage, and sometimes the skin
around the eye.
Keep in Mind
For 24–72 hours, someone who has had a foreign body removed from the eye may
continue to feel like there's something in the eye, have slightly blurry vision,
or be sensitive to light. This happens because an object sometimes leaves a small
scratch on the eye's surface, which the doctor can see with the fluorescein dye. Symptoms
usually improve overnight, but can last a few days as the scratch heals.
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