Does it feel like you have sand in one of your eyes? - Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital

Does it feel like you have sand in one of your eyes?

Does it feel like you have sand in one of your eyes?

You may be experiencing a foreign body sensation. While in most instances there is no danger, avoid rubbing your eye(s) and please do not use any utensils like tweezers to try and remove the object from your eye(s). 

If only ONE eye is affected it could be a small foreign body like an eyelash or a little bit of sand or dust.  You can check this by: 

  • looking into a mirror in a well-lit area and then: 
    • pulling the lower lid down to check if there is something in the bottom pouch
    • pulling the upper lid over the lower lid to try and dislodge whatever is stuck under the upper lid.

If you can’t find anything or aren’t able to look into your eye, please ask someone else to assist to see if they can find something.

If a foreign body is found it can be removed by using a clean, dry cotton bud or the corner of a clean dry tissue. Alternatively, you can rinse the eye with clean water to dislodge a foreign body.

A foreign body in the eye may cause a small and shallow scratch or abrasion of the cornea which also feels like the particle is still there. These small scratches cannot be seen with the naked eye.

If nothing is found or the discomfort continues, you can try lubricating the eye with eye drops such as Tears Naturale, Optive, Systain or Xailin, ie;

  • place a few drops into your irritated eye as this will help soothe your eye. Tilt your head back, pull the lower lid down with your index finger and place 1-2 drops in the pouch that is formed.
  • You can repeat every ten minutes if necessary. 

If you are unable to do this yourself, we suggest you ask a friend or family member to help.

In the following instances we recommend you look for further assistance:

  • If your eye is not better or worse after the above interventions, please call or see your GP or Optometrist for advice, and they will refer you to an Ophthalmologist if needed. 
  • If you were welding or grinding in the last 24-48 hours, it is more likely to be arc eyes or a metal foreign body and you will have to call or see your GP or Optometrist, who can refer you to an Ophthalmologist if needed.
  • If your eye is very red, painful, light-sensitive or your vision is affected it is best to consult your GP or Optometrist immediately, who can then refer you to an Ophthalmologist if needed.

If you are unsure what to do, you may always contact Pietermaritzburg Eye Hospital for guidance and advice via our social media, website, email or call 033 845 2020.

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