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Feeling of an Object in the Eye: Care Instructions

Parts of the eye


Sometimes people feel like there is something in their eye. This is called a foreign body sensation. A doctor may not find anything wrong with your eye. If you had something very small in your eye, like a speck of dirt, tears may have washed it out. Or you may have a small scratch on the surface of the eye (cornea), which can make it feel as if something is still in your eye.

The doctor will check your vision and examine your eye. Your eye may be numbed with drops. Sometimes a drop of coloured fluid is put in the eye. This lets the doctor have a better view of the surface of the eye.

You may get drops to put in your eye after you go home. Or you may just need to watch for a change in your symptoms.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • Do not rub your eye.
  • If the doctor prescribed eyedrops or ointment, use them as directed. Be sure the dropper or bottle tip is clean.
  • To put in eyedrops or ointment:
    • Tilt your head back, and pull your lower eyelid down with one finger.
    • Drop or squirt the medicine inside the lower lid.
    • Close your eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the drops or ointment move around.
    • Do not touch the ointment or dropper tip to your eyelashes or any other surface.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have new or worse eye pain.
  • Light hurts your eye.
  • You have new or worse redness in your eye.
  • You have symptoms of an eye infection, such as:
    • Pus or thick discharge coming from the eye.
    • Redness or swelling around the eye.
    • A fever.
  • You have vision changes.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

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Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.