A woman dealing with a foreign object in her eye

Behind the blink: why it feels like something's in your eye.

Have you ever had the unsettling sensation that something is in your eye even though nothing appears to be there? It's a common experience, often leaving you blinking and rubbing your eyes in discomfort.

Let's explore what could be causing this sensation and how you can find relief.

Eye discomfort: causes and treatment. 

The feeling that something is in your eye can have several potential causes.  

  • Dry eyes. A common issue, dry eyes occur when your eyes don't produce enough tears or the right kind of tears. It leaves your eyes feeling scratchy and uncomfortable. 

  • Allergies. Allergies are another common culprit, leading to itchy and inflamed eyes. It may be an infection like conjunctivitis, known commonly as pink eye, which can cause significant discomfort and require medical attention. 

  • Foreign body objects. Then there are actual foreign objects – a speck of dust, an eyelash or tiny debris – that can get trapped in your eye. You may feel pain or irritation. When a foreign body enters the eye, it can cause a corneal abrasion which is a scratch or injury to the clear lining that covers the eye. At CityMD, our providers commonly diagnose and treat corneal abrasion.   

For general discomfort, over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can offer relief. Antihistamines are effective for allergies, and maintaining good eye hygiene helps prevent infections. Remember, rubbing your eyes can exacerbate the issue, so try to resist the urge. 

If you experience severe eye pain or sudden changes to your vision visit the closest emergency room as soon as possible.



How do you get something out of your eye that you can't see? 

It's a common and often distressing situation: you feel like there's something in your eye, but when you look in the mirror, you can't see anything. 

This invisible irritant can cause discomfort, redness and watering, but there are safe ways to address it. 

  • Wash your hands. Before touching your eye, ensure your hands are clean to avoid introducing more irritants or bacteria. 

  • Blink repeatedly. Sometimes, simply blinking can dislodge small particles. Your eyelids and lashes are designed to keep your eyes clean. 

  • Check your eyes. Look closely in a mirror. Sometimes, the foreign object is tiny or transparent. Check under the eyelid by gently pulling the upper lid over the lower one and then releasing. 

  • Flush with clean water. If blinking doesn't help, try flushing your eye with clean, lukewarm water. Lean over a sink, tilt your head to the side, and gently pour water into the eye, flushing from the nose outward. 

  • Use a damp cotton swab or cloth. If you can see the object after flushing, you might be able to gently remove it with a damp cotton swab or the corner of a damp cloth. 

  • Don’t rub your eyes. Rubbing might seem natural, but it can worsen the situation by scratching your eye or moving the object to a more sensitive area. 

  • Seek medical attention if necessary. If the discomfort persists stop by your neighborhood CityMD for quick and reliable urgent care.    

Remember, when dealing with something in your eye, gentleness is key. Harsh rubbing or poking can cause more harm than good. 



How do you flush out your eye? 

If you suspect something is in your eye, flushing it out with clean water can help. 

Here’s a safe way to do it. 

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly. 

  1. Lean over a sink and tilt your head sideways. 

  1. Hold your affected eye open and gently flush water from the inner corner of the eye outward. 

  1. Blink several times to help dislodge any foreign object. 

Use clean, lukewarm water and avoid chemicals or medications unless directed by a healthcare professional. 



Foreign object removal at CityMD. 

At CityMD, we handle eye discomfort, including the removal of foreign objects. Our healthcare professionals use the safest and most effective methods to treat your eye concerns. We prioritize your comfort and eye health, ensuring a safe and sterile environment for all procedures. 

The sensation that something's in your eye can range from a minor annoyance to a symptom needing medical attention. Understanding the causes and knowing when to seek professional help is crucial. 

At CityMD, we’re committed to offering top-notch care for your eye concerns. Remember, at your local CityMD, we’re just a blink away when you need us. 

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Visit any CityMD urgent care location in your community today for an evaluation with one of our expert providers.