Foreign body in the eye

Harmless, small foreign bodies - like an eyelash - can usually be removed yourself. Sometimes, however, rapid help from an ophthalmologist is required

If it is not already washed out of the eye by the tear fluid, you can remove a harmless, small foreign body floating on the surface of the eye, for example a tiny insect, a speck of dust or an eyelash.

  • If the foreign body is hiding under the lower eyelid, in most cases you will need a helper. While you look up, the helper pulls the lower eyelid down and dabs the inside of the eyelid towards the bridge of the nose with a fresh (paper) handkerchief or a cotton swab.
  • If there is a foreign body under the upper eyelid, look down, carefully fold the upper eyelid outwards and dab the foreign body out towards the nose.

If you cannot get rid of the foreign body in this way or if the symptoms last longer, you should consult an ophthalmologist.

Important: If it is a question of glass splinters, metal or wood particles or generally a larger or sharp-edged foreign body or if the foreign body is possibly directly in the eye, you should under no circumstances try to remove the foreign body!

Have yourself taken to an ophthalmologist or an eye clinic immediately. If in doubt, notify the emergency services. Do not rub the eye. A helper should carefully cover both the affected and the healthy eye loosely with a cloth that is as germ-free as possible.

In the event of chemical burns to the eyes, for example from unslaked lime or cleaning agents, you should rinse the eye thoroughly, preferably with running water from the tap - but if necessary with clear, still water from the bottle. The transport (ambulance service) to the nearest ophthalmological facility should take place as soon as possible!

eyes First aid