Carefree M.D. Blog

12 Reasons Why It Feels Like Something Is in Your Eye

Carefree MD

August 27, 2021 | Blog

One of the most irritating things in life is when it feels like something is in your eye. The irritation, tearing, and pain along with this feeling doesn’t make it better either. 

On one hand, it can easily be a foreign object. But, what if this feeling doesn’t leave?

Discover 12 possible reasons why you have the feeling like something’s in your eye, and learn how you can find relief.

1. Something Is in Your Eye

The easiest explanation to the feeling that something is actually in your eye. Foreign objects, such as dust or eyelashes easily make their way into your eye. Sometimes, you can’t even see it underneath your eyelids.

If blinking it out doesn’t work, try to rinse your eye with cold water to see if the feeling disappears. Eye drops or artificial tears can also help remove foreign objects.

If you do see the object that’s bothering you, gently guiding it out of your eye with a damp cotton swab is also helpful.

2. Something Was in Your Eye

Did you know that the feeling of something in your eye actually has a name? Foreign body sensation can happen even when the object has left your eye. 

Waiting a few minutes for the feeling to subside can take care of this sensation. Otherwise, it’s time to consider medical reasons why you feel like there’s something in your eye.

3. Your Eyes Are Dry

Dry eyes are a very common problem. This happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears to keep the surface moistened.

A sensation that something’s in your eye followed by an overproduction of tears is a common sign. Redness, itchiness, and a burning sensation are also common symptoms. 

Over-the-counter lubricating eye drops can help keep your eyes wet enough to avoid dry eyes.

4. You Have a Corneal Injury

Corneal injury can happen when you have a foreign object stuck under your eyelids. Vigorously rubbing your eyes and being hit on the eyes can cause an abrasion (scratch) or laceration (cut) on the outermost layer of your eye called the cornea.

Common symptoms of corneal injury include a lingering foreign body sensation along with vision impairment. Pain, redness, and headache are also common. 

Minor corneal injuries heal by themselves within a few days. A cold compress can help relieve the discomfort. However, more serious corneal cuts require medical attention, because they risk permanent damage to your sight.

5. Corneal Ulcer

If the foreign object in your eye feels very pronounced and painful, you may have a corneal ulcer.

Corneal ulcers are open sores on your cornea, caused by infection. In rare cases, they can even lead to blindness.

Severe pain, redness, tearing, and blurred vision are common side effects. You may also find swelling and discharge from your eye.

You need immediate medical attention if you have a corneal ulcer. You’ll be prescribed appropriate medication and eye drops to allow your cornea to heal.

6. Blepharitis

When the oil glands around your eyelashes get clogged, they may get inflamed. This condition is called blepharitis.

Apart from feeling like there’s something in your eye, you may also feel a gritty sensation, burning, or stinging. Your eye or eyelid can also appear red, crusty, or greasy.

Usually, blepharitis should clear up in a couple of days with the help of a warm compress. If you still have these symptoms after a few days, it’s time to talk to a doctor. 

You may need antibiotics or steroid eye drops.

7. Chalazion or Stye

A chalazion is a harmless, painless lump that forms on your eyelid due to blocked oil glands. Howeer, when you blink, they have the distinct discomfort of feeling like there’s something in your eye.

Chalazia is often confused with styes. Styes are painful growths due to sweat or oil gland infection. 
Usually, both chalazion and stye clean up by themselves. If they don’t rupture after a few days, seeking medical help is advised.

8. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is more commonly known as pinkeye. It’s an inflammation of the inner lining of your eyelid. This can be caused by a bacterial infection. 

Pink eye is very common, especially among children.

The inflammation of your eyelid can make you feel like there’s something in your eye. Redness, itchiness, stinging, and a gritty sensation are also conjunctivitis symptoms. 

A cool compress can provide some relief. 

If you have pinkeye, it’s important to remember that it’s a very contagious infection. Make sure to wash your hands every time you touch your eye to avoid infecting your loved ones.

9. Eye Herpes

The herpes simplex virus doesn’t just lead to cold sores. It can also infect various regions of your eye. Your cornea is the outermost layer of your eye. As a result, it most likely to get infected by eye herpes.

Apart from the feeling of something in your eye, redness, pain, tearing, and discharge can also happen.
Seeking medical attention is advised if you suspect that you have eye herpes. Your doctor can prescribe antiviral or steroid eye drops.

10. Fungal Keratitis

Although it’s a rare condition, fungal keratitis can also cause foreign body sensations. It’s a fungal infection of the cornea.

The most common way for your eye to get infected is by sustaining an eye injury, such as being poked in the eye with a stick or a plant.

Eye pain, excessive tearing, redness, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light.

If you have fungal keratitis, you need antifungal medication to get rid of the infection. The symptoms may last for several months as your treatment helps you heal.

11. Pinguecula

Pinguecula is a harmless, yellowish growth on your eyelids. They’re a common sign of aging.
Although they’re harmless, these non-cancerous growths can definitely make you feel like there’s something in your eye.

12. Pterygium

Pterygium is a harmless growth on your cornea. They usually appear around the middle or the inner region of your eye. Their appearance has been linked to exposure to sunlight, dust, or wind.

Unless it impacts your vision, a pterygium doesn’t require medical attention. In rare cases, it can cause inflammation. As such, it’s a good idea to talk to a medical professional about it.

Talk to a Doctor About Why It Feels Like Something’s in Your Eye

While foreign body sensation could simply be a rogue eyelash in your eye, it can also be a sign of a serious medical issue. Protecting your eyesight is crucial, that’s why it’s best to seek a medical professional about this symptom.

Thanks to Carefree MD, you can talk to a doctor about why you feel like there’s something in your eye from the comfort of your own home.

Once you activate your membership, you can speak to a state-licensed physician about your symptoms, get prescriptions sent to your local pharmacy when medically necessary, and receive personalized advice on treatment options for just $17.95/month.

Sign up for a Carefree MD membership today to talk to a doctor about your eye!


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