The feeling that something is in the eye commonly brings people to the eye doctor. This is referred to as a “foreign body feeling”, as if a foreign object were scratching the eye. Usually this experience stems from the cornea, which is the clear part of the eye through which we see. The cornea has a large number of nerve fibers that are usually covered by a lining. If this lining is breached, the experience that something remains in the eye results, whether or not anything is actually there.
Causes of Feeling Something in Eye
The majority of inflammation that occurs in the eye originates from the cornea, however there are other causes of pain that might be originating from inside the eye or from the surface area in front of the eye.
Any condition which can cause a scratch on the cornea can lead to this symptom. Some causes are detailed on this page. There are likewise links to other Symptom and Diagnosis pages based upon other symptoms in addition to the foreign body feeling.
Dry Eye or Dry Eye Syndrome
“Dry eye” is a typical ocular issue, as is evidenced by the a great deal of artificial tear preparations readily available non-prescription. There might be a propensity for tear production to reduce with aging, and dry eye problems might be connected with specific arthritis syndromes, such as Sjogren’s syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. However, many individuals can develop a problem with ocular dryness without any evident underlying cause.
Symptoms of dry eye include a sensation of dryness or grittiness, foreign body feeling, burning, soreness, and generalized eye tiredness. The vision might blur or change. The eyes might seem sensitive to modifications in temperature and to wind. Paradoxically, tearing might be a symptom of ocular dryness. Tearing can take place because the glands that produce tears in big quantities are not usually included much in the minute to minute lubrication of the eyes. If the eye reach a particular level of dryness, this big tear gland ends up being activated and produces excessive tears.
Symptoms of dry eye can have other causes than just lowered tear production. Oil producing glands in the eyelids supply a layer of oil on the surface area of the eye which helps to prevent tears from vaporizing. If this oil layer is deficient, as in specific types of blepharitis and acne rosacea, the eyes can end up being dry much too rapidly. Likewise, mucous helps to lube the eye, and if this wants, dry eye symptoms can result. Oral antihistamines may dry the eyes in this method. The eye doctor can determine the concept reason for the dryness symptoms, and direct therapy in the right direction.
Supplemental lubrication of the eye is the main treatment for dry eye. There countless synthetic tears readily available. Normally, preservative free eye drops are suggested in people who need to use eye drops regularly and every day. Some gel drop preparations, such as Systane Gel Drops and Refresh Liquigel, are thicker than the majority of other synthetic tears, and may supply more long lasting relief in some cases. Lube lotions are likewise offered (such as Refresh P.M.). These are generally used at bedtime (because the vision is exceptionally blurred for an amount of time after their use), however might provide substantial relief.
Newer over the counter choices for dry eye consist of Systane Ultra and Refresh Optive, which enhances the ability of natural tears or other artificial tears to stay on the ocular surface, and Refresh Balance and Refresh Optive Advanced, which lowers the evaporation of tears from the eye.
Other choices for treating dry eye consist of treating other issues, such as blepharitis. Sometimes oral antibiotics might help. In severe cases, occlusion of the tear drainage system may help the tears to remain longer on the eye itself. Restasis is prescription eye drop which has actually been discovered to enhance tear production when used over a period of weeks to months.
Often the treatment of dry eye needs a combination of various types of eye drops to promote recovery of the ocular surface area and to keep lubrication. Avoiding situations that exacerbate dryness, such as preventing fans and moving air, may help. Increased humidity might also assist, as dry eye symptoms are generally even worse in the winter when the air is drier. Using a warm mist humidifier or entire house humidifier is most advised.
Corneal Abrasion (Scratched Eye)
A corneal abrasion is a break in the surface layer of the cornea, which is the clear part of the eye through which we see. This usually follows apparent trauma, although an abrasion may take place from other causes, such as an inturned eyelash or from an eyelid infection (blepharitis).
Symptoms consist of pain, redness, tearing, sensitivity to light, and blurred vision. The “foreign body” feeling can be severe, and frequently people describe symptoms of a “rock were rolling around under the eyelid”. What is actually being felt is this exceptionally sensitive exposed part of the cornea touching the within the lid as the eye blinks.
Medical diagnosis and treatment should be made by an ophthalmologist. If injury is included, the eye needs to be thoroughly analyzed to rule out and other injury. Treatment alternatives vary, and may consist of patching of the eye with antibiotic lotion, regular use of antibiotic ointment or lubricating medications, and even plaster contact lens use. There is risk of infection (corneal ulcer) and internal ocular inflammation (iritis) with this condition. Thankfully, under good scenarios, the cornea can heal quickly, frequently even over night.
Inturned Eyelash (Trichiasis)
Trichiasis describes misdirected eyelashes, where they point backwards and aggravate the eye surface area. Symptoms are usually of a foreign body experience, however more severe symptoms of redness, pain, tearing, and light sensitivity are not uncommon. Treatment is by eliminating the angering eyelash (epilation), and by providing protective treatment for any corneal injury which might have occurred. With reoccurring inturned eyelashes, electrolysis might completely eliminate the eyelash, although more than one treatment might be required.
Corneal Foreign Body
A foreign item can lodge itself onto the cornea and cause substantial symptoms of pain, tearing, light sensitivity, and blurred vision. Except in cases of obvious trauma where debris strikes the eyes, the most typical corneal foreign body is a rusted metallic particle. Little shards of metal appear to have a practically magnetic attraction to the corneal surface, where they rapidly rust and become embedded. The use of safety goggles with any kind of drilling, hammering, etc. can be preventative. As the rusted particle sits on the cornea, the eye becomes progressively more inflamed over a period of days with redness, pain, light sensitivity, and tearing. Frequently the particle shows up on the eye, however it might be nearly microscopic. The ophthalmologist has the devices essential in the workplace to get rid of these foreign bodies. Generally a scar stays which hardly ever impacts the vision, but there is a risk of infection.
Foreign Body Under Eyelid
Debris which enters into the eyes can end up being trapped under the upper eyelid. This will result in worsening symptoms of foreign body sensation, pain, tearing, and soreness. The debris can be nearly anything, and a paper thin fragment of plant material (wood) is not unusual. A large foreign body under the lid rapidly becomes unbearable, with a corneal scratch occurring every time the eye blinks. Certainly, removal of the foreign body is curative.
Persistent or Spontaneous Corneal Erosion
After the cornea is scratched, it can recover superficially extremely quickly to cover the flaw. Nevertheless, a longer time period (months) is needed for this area of recovery to become securely bonded in place. In some people, an area of corneal injury might be completely deteriorated. In this situation, very little injury to the eye may suffice to cause this area of weakening to slough off or pull open, resulting in a corneal abrasion once again. This “very little trauma” can consist of things as easy as eye rubbing or the eye opening for the very first time in the morning.
This 2nd circumstance is the most typical. Normally, people with a frequent or spontaneous corneal disintegration issue experience ocular pain upon awakening. The eye might tear and have foreign body sensation. The corneal defect quickly heals over most of the times, and the symptoms solve in minutes to hours. Nevertheless, the process might repeat itself the next morning. Some people may have an underlying weakness of the cornea (map-dot-fingerprint dystrophy), and can develop these symptoms with no history of trauma in the past.
Some people experience severe pain at the time of a spontaneous or persistent corneal erosion, with a severe sensation that something is in the eye and profuse tearing. The symptoms can be disabling in some cases. Other people establish a milder foreign body sensation which enhances as the day goes on.
Treatment is first to identify the issue, then initially to attempt using lubricating ointments on the eye at bedtime. Often these need to be used for weeks to months. Commonly used lubes include Refresh P.M. and Muro 128. These lubes assist to avoid the eyelid from pulling open the corneal scratch upon awakening in the early morning. In cases where the problem continues in spite of treatment, there are treatments which can be carried out in the ophthalmologist’s workplace to enhance the weakened area.
Other Conditions Causing a Foreign Body Feeling in Your Eye
A connect to each condition is noted in addition to other trademark features of the condition.
- Blepharitis – itching, burning, eyelid irritation.
- Conjunctivitis – eye redness, itching, discharge.
- Contact lens related problems – might have pain, scratchy sensation, soreness, lens intolerance.
- Ectropion (out-turning) of eyelid – scratchy sensation, pain, tearing.
- Entropion (in-turning) of eyelid – scratchy experience, pain, tearing and discharge.
- Eye Medication toxicity – corneal inflammation from eye drops can lead to scratchiness.
- Phlyctenulosis – experience that something remains in eye, burning, itching, blepharitis.
- Pterygium – a growth on the surface of the eye, typically with soreness.
- Ocular cicatricial pemphigoid – an autoimmune disorder that causes conjunctival scarring and dry eye symptoms.
Question: Why does it seem like something is rubbing against my eye when I blink?
Answer: If it feels like something is rubbing against your eyes when you blink it is called a foreign body sensation (FBS). It can be triggered by a number of various things. Although it could be caused by a particle on the surface of the eyes, the two most typical causes are dry eyes, or an inflammation in the eyelids called blepharitis. Other causes consist of conjunctivitis or other inflammatory conditions of the ocular surface area that occur on the eyelids, eyelashes, conjunctiva, episclera, sclera, or cornea. The most easy method of treating this is with synthetic tears.
Other preliminary treatments might consist of warm compresses with a warm washcloth or eyelid scrubs with cotton idea applicator and some baby shampoo in warm water.
Obviously if you think there is in fact a foreign particle in your eyes then you should have a total test by an Eye M.D.
Also, if your symptoms do not solve after trying these approaches then you ought to also see an Eye M.D. promptly.