It’s not uncommon to have an irritating and painful sensation in your eye and realize that there is an eyelash that has gotten into the eye. This common problem can actually cause major complications if it is not handled properly. While there are ways to safely remove the eyelash on your own, if you are struggling to remove the eyelash or feel that there is still something in the eye after it was removed, you should seek treatment from an eye doctor.
Eyelashes grow like other hair both on the skin and the head.
Like other hair on the body, the eyelash grows from a follicle within the skin.
Once the eyelash is grown to a complete state, it will eventually be pushed out by another lash growing from the follicle.
As the eyelash is displaced, it will eventually either fall out or be pulled out when something contacts the eye (a hand, pillow, towel, etc).
When there is an eyelash loose within the eye, it will create a sensation of scratchiness and like there is something moving in the eye.
Rubbing or putting pressure on the eye may alleviate these symptoms momentarily as the lash is pushed out of the location that was causing pain.
However, if the eyelash is trapped in the eye, it will continue to cause intermittent pain and discomfort until it is removed as the eyelash is moved.
The eyelash may also cause watering in the eye or result in frequent blinking to try to relieve the symptoms.
If you are able to see the eyelash directly, then you can attempt to remove it.
If you are unable to visualize the eyelash, you should instead visit your eye doctor and not attempt to remove the eyelash yourself.
Once the eyelash is visible, prior to removing the lash, wash your hands with soap and water.
Then, using a mirror, hold your eyelid and eyelashes away from the eye and use only one finger to attempt to gently touch the eyelash while it is on the white of the eye.
This slight touch will allow the eyelash to adhere to the finger and it will be removed once the finger is removed.
Avoid using your fingernails or trying to scrape the eyelash away as this can lead to a scratch on the eye.
You should also not try to pinch or pick up the eyelash from the eye as it is too small and doing so is more likely to cause damage to the eye.
If you cannot safely remove the eyelash, you should visit your eye doctor and have the doctor evaluate the eye.
Any time you cannot see the eyelash, you cannot remove it using one finger, or it causes excess pain when trying to remove the eyelash, you should visit your eye doctor with an urgent work appointment.