How to Treat a Poke in the Eye


Eye pokes were a favorite slapstick routine employed by the Three Stooges. In real life, a poke in the eye is nothing to laugh about. Eye pokes can occur in a variety of ways. Someone can accidentally stick their finger in your eye during a sporting contest or an object can inadvertently find its way into your eye. Getting poked in the eye is not only painful, it can lead to serious injury if it is not treated.

Man covering eyes
Man covering eyes (Image: Barbara Penoyar/Photodisc/Getty Images)


Step 1

If you get poked in the eye you will probably be tempted to touch or rub it. However, you will only make the injury worse by applying such pressure.

Step 2

See a doctor for your eye injury, especially if you have any vision problems. Trauma can cause bleeding inside the eye. Even worse, you could suffer from a scratched cornea or detached retina.

Woman with eye doctor
Woman with eye doctor (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

Step 3

A doctor most likely will prescribe eye drops to keep the eye moist and to thwart infection. Follow the instructions for the drops. An antibiotic ointment may also be prescribed to prevent infection, and to keep your eyelid from rubbing against the aggravated area when you blink.

Man using eye drops
Man using eye drops (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

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Tips & Warnings

  • Most minor injuries due to eye pokes will heal within a few days.
  • If your eye injury is slow healing, consult your doctor.


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