Holistic Treatment

Halp! How Do I Get This Lash Out of My Eyeball Without Tearing My Cornea?

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Photo: Getty Images/EyeEm
Today marks approximately the millionth time I've arrived at work with an unidentified object (Eyelash? Dust? New York City detritus?) adhered to my eyeball. I don't know if my corneas are extra-sticky or what gives, but my immediate mission was pretty simple: To ask an optometrist how to clean out my eye the proper way. (Because I'm pretty sure probing said area with my fingernail like I normally do is basically a one-way ticket to the hospital.)

"Many loose foreign bodies can be removed through exaggerated blinking to accelerate this process," says Mark Jacquot, OD, Clinical Director at LensCrafters. So go ahead: Flutter those lashes like a romance novel character. "[T]he next step is to irrigate the eye," says the expert, who recommends using an eye wash, normal saline, or just plain old tap water to do so. If the pesky particle still remains after that, Dr. Jacquot recommends seeing an eye doctor as soon as you can. They can remove whatever it is through a simple procedure that likely won't result in any damage.

Contact-wearers can repeat the same process—just make sure to remove the lens first just in case the optic visitor has stealthily hidden beneath it. And regardless of whether you wear them or not, the doc says to avoid rubbing your eye at all costs: "[T]his can cause some foreign bodies to become embedded in the cornea on the front of the eye."

When I take the doctor's advice, blinking rapidly doesn't quite do the trick. So instead, I go to the office bathroom and gently splash my face with lukewarm water again and again. After about four or five times, the whites of my eyes have turned pink and my mascara is running down my cheek. But hey—no eyeball crasher! At last, my cornea is free.

Now that you've washed away the issue, here's how to reapply your eye makeup super quickly and how to add winged eyeliner

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