Sand in the eye can be a painful experience that may lead to scratches on the eye (corneal abrasions) or an eye infection. A windy day or a sand-throwing incident at the beach can lead to sand in the eyes, and properly administering first aid is essential in order to lessen the chance of a serious eye injury or infection. When a foreign object enters the eye, profuse tearing results. Proper first aid for sand in the eye involves mimicking the natural tearing process by flushing the affected eye(s).
Things You'll Need
- Eye cup or drinking cup
- Water (bottled and tap)
- Antibacterial soap
Wash your hands using antibacterial soap. Clean the inside of an eye cup or a plain drinking cup using antibacterial soap. Rinse very thoroughly to remove all traces of the soap.
Fill the eye cup (or drinking cup) to the brim with room-temperature water. Bottled water is ideal, but if this is not available, allow the tap to run for a full minute before filling the cup (to avoid using water containing particles as a result of sitting in the pipes for an extended period of time).
Place the water-filled cup on a flat surface. Lower your face over the cup, immersing your affected eye inside the water.
Blink your eye while it's immersed in the water to help flush away the sand particles. It usually takes 10 to 20 seconds of flushing to remove all sand particles, but you may flush the eyes for up to 15 minutes.
Monitor for signs of eye infection for 48 hours after the sand is removed from your eyes. Any time a foreign object comes in contact with the eyes, there is a chance that an infection will develop. Signs of an infection include redness, swelling, pain/discomfort and eye discharge.
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