Step-by-step tips for safely removing dust or debris from the inside of your eye.

Heading to the beach with your friends or family is by far one of greatest activities of the summer season. Whether you like running around with the sand between your toes, splashing about in the ocean waves, or simply relaxing on the shore with a good book, the beach offers a little something for everyone who is looking to get outside and soak up the summer sun.

However, as much as we love the sights and smells of the ocean waves, there is one aspect of the beach we sometimes wish we could do without―the sand. No matter how hard you try or how careful you are with protecting your stuff, sand always has a nasty habit of invading every inch and crevice of both yourself and every single object you brought along to the beach.

Sometimes when you’re running along the shore or playing in the sand, little specks or particles of sand can even work their way into your eyes―the very last place you ever want sand to be stuck. When this occurs, it can feel impulsive to rub your eyes furiously until the dust or dirt is gone. However, this can cause serious problems, such as excruciating pain or even a scratched cornea.

While your eyes will usually tear up and wash out the foreign body when you get something in them, sometimes dirt and sand can become stuck on the surface of the eye and can be a little more difficult to remove. If this occurs during one of your afternoons at the beach, here are four step-by-step safety tips for removing dust or debris from the inside of your eye, as well as some advice on what to do if your vision is truly threatened.

Step One: Wash Your Hands

Before you even think about touching your eye or trying to remove the foreign object, you should first wash your hands. This will ensure that you remove any other particles that may be lingering on your fingers, and will help to prevent you from getting an eye infection.

Step Two: Close and Open Your Eyes

Many times, the object will simply be stuck under one of your eyelids. To try and remove it, try lifting your upper lid by grasping only your eyelashes. Next, pull your eyelid down over the lower portion of your eye and let go to see if the particle has made its way out. If it has, remove the object with a wet cotton swab or the corner of a clean cloth.

Step Three: Flush Out Your Eye

If natural tears or movement have not flushed out the particle, you can next try to gently flush out your eye with cool water. Once you have done this, pat the outside of your eye dry to collect the tears and blink quickly. Repeat a few times until the object surfaces. If the object has still not dislodged itself, it is time to seek professional help.

Step Four: Seek Medical Attention

If the above steps have been unsuccessful, or if you have any large, sharp or chemical objects in your eye, cover your eye with a loose dressing or a dark pair of sunglasses and have someone take you to the eye doctor immediately. Attempts to remove foreign bodies yourself without the proper equipment and expertise could very well make the problem worse. Instead, seek out the attention of an ophthalmologist or an optometrist.

The beach is a great place to soak up the summer sun and enjoy the sights and activities that this season has to offer. However, be sure to practice proper vision safety to ensure that your day of fun is not interrupted by an unwelcome eye injury.

 

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