Having an eyelash in the eye can be extremely irritating, especially for a child. This irritant is normally harmless. Knowing how to best remove the foreign particle can keep it harmless and avoid unnecessary injuries to the delicate eye area. An important thing to remember is that trying to use the fingers to remove an eyelash has the potential to do more harm than good.
Encourage the child to blink a few times and let the eye itself remove the eyelash. Sometimes, squeezing the eye shut tight for a moment will encourage tearing, which can flush foreign particles out of the eye.
Gently pull the upper eyelid out over the lower lid. This can sometimes cause the lower lashes to remove the rogue eyelash from the inside of the upper eyelid. Be sure that the hands are washed before trying this procedure.
Flush the eye with lukewarm water. Have the child hold his/her head over the sink with the affected eye facing down. If it is a small child, the assistance of another adult may be required to minimize squirming. Gently pull out the lower lid of the eye and flush with water until the eyelash is removed.
Contact a pediatrician if these methods do not remove the eyelash. If the pediatrician asks to see the child, cover the affected eye with gauze until he/she can be seen. This discourages rubbing, which can scratch the corneas.
Tips & Warnings
- Do not try to remove the eyelash directly from the eyeball using fingers. This direct contact has the potential to cause corneal scratching or serious injury.
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