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Help me get an eyelash out of my eye PLEASE!

  1. Feb 18, 2009 #1


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    Last night there was something sharp in my eye and I messed around with it for a few minutes by blinking a lot popping my eyelid and rolling my eyeballs around. It didn't come out but when it got to a more comfortable position, I went to sleep, hoping it would automatically come out.

    Turns out, on waking I find out that it is an eyelash stuck in there, a long one. Not only that, but it is barely peaking out of what's a good way beyond the skin and flesh. Only a little bit is sticking out, the rest is "behind" my eye, rolling on the surface of my eyeball I suppose.

    I don't think it would be a good idea for me to make it go further back there. It's at a more comfortable position now that it isn't stabbing into anything, but I don't like the idea of something that isn't my eye being inside my optical cavity. What should I do? Should I really go to an ophthamologist over an eyelash?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 18, 2009 #2


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    Ouch, Mk, that sounds awful! Yes I would definately go see a doctor. You could damage your eye by digging around too much...let a professional do it.
  4. Feb 18, 2009 #3


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    Digging? That sounds scary, I was thinking this:
    But it's a little bit far in there and is sticking in the mucus/eyewater I think.
  5. Feb 18, 2009 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    Try flushing your eye out with water. Sometimes when the eyeball is well lubed the eyelash will float to the forefront. Then you can gently touch it with your finger and it will stick to it. Make sure you wash your hands first.
  6. Feb 18, 2009 #5
    I second this... hold your eye open by pushing up on your eyebrow and down on your cheek, then liberally spash water into the eye with your other hand. I even got some really nasty wood splinters out out my eye (with no damage) by massive flushing. (I had on safety goolgle while drilling... but the porch was old and dropped splinters even AFTER I was done drilling had had the swing installed. Don't look up while swinging on a swing installed on an old porch... especially if the swing seems to be falling out!)

    Edited to add: You don't want to dig and end up looking like Tom's avatar! :yuck:
  7. Feb 18, 2009 #6
    A long time ago, my father bought a glass cup specifically designed for flushing the eyes. It looked like a small glass wine cup, but the top of it was contoured to fit flush around the area of the eye so that when you tilted your head back, while holding the cup over the eye, it would not leak the water out (or maybe just a little). I don't know if they still sell those things, but it was pretty effective.
  8. Feb 18, 2009 #7


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    > Help me get an eyelash out of my eye... PLEASE!

    I'm sorry to hear about the problem but seeing this problem posed on physicsforums was severely amusing :biggrin:

    Almost like one of the string theory related threads, which had a google supposed "context based ads" in it, with a almost naked lady wearing STRING undies. Now that's puts string theory in a new light. I wonder how many orders they got from string theorists.

  9. Feb 18, 2009 #8


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    They come with eye washes like Collyrium. I have used this since I was little, my mom had to get a lot of things out of our eyes.

    http://www.bausch.com/en_US/ecp/visioncare/product/drops/collyrium_ecp.aspx [Broken]

    I'd hate to have you do anything that would cause you more trouble though.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Feb 18, 2009 #9


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    When flushing, a bit of salt in the water helps. Make sure that it's all dissolved, though.
  11. Feb 18, 2009 #10
    yes, evo's link is what you want. the eyewash kits are actually ridiculously expensive for what you get (plain saline and a plastic cup), but it works. you want to fill the cup to the brim, tilt your head over 90 degrees, and adhere the cup around your eye so it's immersed. then blink a lot while looking in all directions. gravity and turbulence should wash it out. if that doesn't work, you'll need to try a doc.
  12. Feb 18, 2009 #11
    If you are afraid of the eyelash working its way behind your eye. Fear not, the bulbar conjunctiva,the clear membrane coating the white(sclera) of your eye, is connected to the bulbar conjunctiva, the membrane that lines the inside of your eye lids. There is no free pathway into the orbit.

    A good way to remove a conjunctival foreign body is with a wet q-tip. Don't use a dry q-tip as it will leave cotton fibers behind.
  13. Feb 19, 2009 #12
    Edit to my post.
    The bulbar conjunctiva is connected to the palpebral conjunctiva that lines the eye lids.
  14. Feb 20, 2009 #13


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    Oh darn, I've had this window up for a day, and when I finally come back with my victory story, it tells me my time's expired and deletes it. Agh!!

    I called an optometrist's office not long after I posted the first post and saw lisab's and Tom's post. The first office didn't know what to do and suggested I come in (yeah, sure), but they gave me the phone number of a closer office. I called that one, and whoever picked up the phone, Bonnie, had a suggestion. She said to take a Q-tip and try and touch the eyelash with it to pull it out. It would work because the eyelash was wet and the q-tip was dry. I tried doing this after two or three minutes of hesitation (I'd be more comfortable with real surgeries than anything touching my eyes). It didn't work. I tapped it again two or three times, and my eye just went "I hate you!" at me.

    I tore off an eyelash of my own and pulled my lip out. I put the eyelash on my wet lip and pressed it in so it was good and wet. I tapped the q-tip a few times against the eyelash to see if it would work. It didn't. I pressed harder and tapped it furiously but the eyelash stood unaffected.

    I called my dad. He said to take a hot shower (his remedy for just about everything) and open my eyes in the water stream. So, I tried it. I shampooed my hair and rinsed it out, then after a few more seconds of hesitation, I stuck my face in and tried opening my eyes. My eyes felt pretty closed, but I think they were more open than how they felt. I pulled out and my eyes were all stinging, but I dried them off and tried again. After that I hopped out and checked in the mirror ready to see it either totally gone, or completely unaffected. I pulled my flesh open and... it moved! So I went back in the shower and did it again two more times. I looked in the mirror again and the eyelash was just barely out, and over the skin. I used my finger to slide the eyelash out all the way, and held the conquered eyelash on my fingertip. I sang Viking victory songs and ate chocolate cake the end. :smile:
  15. Feb 20, 2009 #14


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    And thanks a lot larkspur, I was afraid in the beginning that if I touched it too much I might drive it further backwards, warranting an actual necessary doctor's visit. After enough eyeball rolling, I noticed however much I pushed it in the backwards direction, it eventually stopped and stayed in that one place.
  16. Feb 20, 2009 #15
    Next time, just go ahead and ask your Dad first.
  17. Feb 20, 2009 #16


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    That's what I learned out of all this! I did not call him though, because I could not find his work phone number, and it was not lunch time for him yet. :smile:
  18. Feb 20, 2009 #17
    Find someone to kick you in the jewels and then cry it out.
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