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- Dust, dirt, sand, wood slivers, or metal shavings hitting the eye
- Vigorously rubbing the eye, especially when something is in it
- A fingernail, tree branch, or other object scratching the eye
- Wearing contact lenses, especially if the lenses are worn longer than directed or not cleaned properly
- Not protecting the eyes during surgery—the cornea can dry out if your eyes are not fully shut during surgery
- Certain eye disorders
- Having a dry or weak cornea
- Wearing contact lenses
- Working in a setting with eye hazards, such as metal working or gardening
- Participating in sports where accidental eye injuries can occur
- Bell's palsy
- Pain that may worsen when opening or closing the eye
- A feeling that a foreign object is in your eye
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light
Removing a Foreign Object
- Antibiotic ointment or eye drops to prevent infection
- Pain medications to reduce discomfort
- Do not rub your eye. Rubbing may worsen the abrasion.
- Use moist compresses to help relieve the pain.
- Do not wear contact lenses until the doctor says it is okay to do so.
- Do not rub the eyes.
Wear safety glasses or protective goggles when participating in sports, yard work, construction, or other activities that could cause injury.
- It is best to wear goggles that fully surround the eyes and make contact with the skin.
- This protective wear is especially important during work with high-velocity objects, such as hammering a nail or grinding metal.
- Always wash up before handling your contact lenses. Clean and wear contact lenses as directed. Never sleep in contact lenses unless approved by an eye doctor.
- Try to flush it out with water. Splash the water so it drains out toward the side of your head.
- Do not rub the affected eye.
- Call an eye doctor.
- Reviewer: James Cornell, MD
- Review Date: 03/2016
- Update Date: 03/22/2014