What Happens When An Eyelash Goes Behind Your Eye (And Other Foreign Objects)

Various foreign objects can fall into your eyes and get lost in them, like an eyelash and even your contact lens. Whenever your eye comes in contact with any foreign object, it tries to expel it as quickly as possible, generally by forming tears. But sometimes, your eyelash or contact lens might get lost in the upper eyelid as there is more space there, feeling like it went to the back of your eye. Getting help from another person or visiting your doctor is the best course of action.

Your eyelashes that grow on above and below your eyelids are there for a reason. They are meant to protect your eyes from dust and other harmful particles in the air, serving as a shield.

The glands in your eyes are meant to lubricate your eyes as you keep on blinking, making sure they don’t go dry. But just like any other hair on your body, your eyelashes fall and regenerate as well.

But it’s also pretty easy for your eyelash to fall into your eyes and cause havoc when it’s there. While sometimes the eyelash is in the front, and it’s pretty easy to get it out, but other times it can go behind your eye, causing you a lot of trouble. But there are ways to get your eyelash out, even if it goes behind your eye. To find out, keep reading!

Eye vs. eyelash

Rarely does your eyelash go behind your eye. The reason behind why your eyelash can’t easily travel back to the back of eyeballs is that there is a layer of muscle and tissue blocking the front half of the eye from the back. This lining can break if there is a tear due to some injury or trauma.

When an eyelash enters your eyes, it’s often visible on the white portion of your eye. But it can move around and get lodged in the pink part below your eye or hide in the upper eyelid portion.

Your eyes function in such a way that it naturally expels any foreign object that enters in there, be it an eyelash or dust.

This is why many a time, you might find eye boogers or dust in the corner of your eye when you wake up from a night’s sleep. This is because your eyes push out any foreign object that enters it, primarily by forming tears.

How to get eyelash out safely

A young girl is putting eye drops in her eye to help get an eyelash out from behind her eye.

When something into your eyes, you get this immediate feeling of irritation, sharp stinging in your eyes. Your eyes can’t seem to remain open and flutter. So, whenever something goes into your eyes, you can easily detect it by how it starts to act.

Stand in front of a mirror and try to open your eye using your forefinger and thumb. Then look left, right, up, and down slowly. There’s a greater chance you’ll spot your eyelash in the white part of your eye.

Once you know you’ve got an eyelash in your eye, there are many ways to get it out:

  1. Ensure your hands are clean before doing anything, so quickly washing them is a good idea rather than poking your eye with your unclean hands. You can get numerous kinds of infections in your eye if your hands aren’t clean.
  2. If you use contact lenses, it’s better to take them out before getting the eyelash out.
  3. Once you spot the eyelash floating around, there are greater chances of your eye expelling the eyelash out itself by blinking and forming tears.
  4. If for some reason, your eye isn’t able to expel your eyelash out, then you can use a wet cotton swab to get the eyelash out carefully. Remember not to poke the swab inside your eye. Only use it when you can see the eyelash in the white part of your eye from where it can be taken out without any difficulties.
  5. You can also try getting your eyelash by washing your eyes with tap water. Just try rinsing your eyes to 4-5 times in the sink, which should do the trick.

Things to look out for

Whenever an eyelash goes into your eye, there are some precautions you need to take.

While it can be pretty irritating, and you might get this sudden urge to remove the eyelash instantly by rubbing your eyes, but that’s only going to worsen the situation.

Therefore, there are a couple of things you must keep in mind whenever trying to get the eyelash out:

  • Don’t try to remove the eyelash while your hands are unclean.
  • Don’t try to do anything while your contacts are still in there.
  • Don’t try to remove the eyelash with the tip of your nails or any sharp object such as a tweezer, as it can easily scratch your eye.
  • Don’t ignore the eyelash and try to accomplish tasks while it’s still troubling you.
  • If your child gets an eyelash inside their eye, try to remove it with a wet cotton swab.

Other foreign objects in the eye

Apart from your eyelash, many foreign objects might get into your eyes and trouble you while you’re trying to do your day-to-day activities. These objects include eyelashes, dried mucus, dust, dirt, sand, cosmetics, contact lenses, metal particles, glass shards.

Dust, dirt, and other related objects are day-to-day occurrences and are not something you should get too worried about.

Some uncommon foreign objects enter due to accident, like glass shards due to some accident or injury you might face. These need immediate medical attention and can’t be taken care of by you at home.

What if contact lens goes behind your eye?

A woman is in pain after one of her contact lenses went behind her upper eye lid.

Wearing contacts can be pretty easy for some, while it can be a nightmare for others. Those who wear contacts know that rubbing your eyes is a big no as it can cause many issues and complications.

But it’s also these people who have experienced losing contact in their eyes too. As terrifying as it sounds, it does happen to many people who wear contacts regularly.

Causes of losing contacts in eye

There could be various reasons why one loses contact in their eye. Number one reason being that your contacts don’t fit you properly. Wearing lenses that don’t fit properly have a higher chance of getting dislodged in one’s eye. But if you get them refitted every year can reduce the chances.

Inserting a lens inside out can also make it move around in your eye and rub your eye since something feels wrong. Rubbing your eye definitely makes contact go around your eye.

How to get your lens out?

As I explained in great detail in the above sections, it might seem like foreign objects can get lost in the back of your eye. That’s not what actually happens. There is a membrane covering your eye from the inside. You can’t get anything lost behind your eye unless there is a tear in the membrane due to some trauma or injury.

Your lens might seem like it’s lost in the back of your eye, but you need to do your best to assess its location. It’s most likely to be under your upper lid as there is more area for it to get lost and not be seen than getting lost in the lower eyelid.

It’s harder to locate a lens as it it’s transparent in color, so you might need help from another person who can locate it for you. Using a torch is the best way as your lens will reflect light, making it easier to find.

The person can then try to drag it down with a clean fingertip. Remember not to use any sharp object such as nails to drag the lens down. When it’s visible on the iris, then you can easily take it out.

Although your eye is pretty amazing in itself to push the foreign object out, in this case, the lens. Even if you can’t seem to get it out with help from someone, it’s better to visit a doctor and seek their help.

FAQs

How long can an eyelash be stuck in your eye?

The lubricant in your eyes helps expel your eyelash faster. It might start forming tears as a way to get the eyelash out quickly. The eyelash in your eye can remain for a minute or two before your eye will begin to water to get the eyelash out.

Can an eyelash grow inside eyelid?

Ingrown eyelash is a term where eyelashes might grow underneath your eyelid instead of growing outwards. Usually, this doesn’t happen, but only if you’ve issues or some eye condition which makes an ingrown eyelash happen.

Can I sleep with a contact stuck in my eye?

It would be best if you never slept with a contact stuck in your eye. Even if you want to, you won’t be able to because your eye will itch and irritate you until you get the lens out of it. Even if your contact isn’t stuck in your eye, you should never sleep with contacts as they can get dislodged and move here and there.

Why does it feel like something is in my eye when I blink?

There could be an infection called an internal stye. A stye is painful and can cause swelling or a lump along the edge of the eyelid. So, when you blink, it might feel like something is stuck in your eye.

To summarize

Various foreign objects can get into your eyes, like an eyelash or even a contact lens. It might feel like the foreign entity has traveled towards the back of your eye, but that’s never the case.

Since your eye has a protective layer of membrane that protects it from getting any foreign object to the back of your eye, it’s safe to say that’s not the case.

Your eyes are pretty amazing at locating the foreign object and expelling it out on its own by forming tears. If you’re still unable to get it out and have trouble with your eye, then visiting your doctor is the safest option to get the eyelash or the contact lens out from your eye.