feels something in her eye

Why does it feel like something is in my eye?

Having something in your eye is a very uncomfortable feeling to have. You experience all sorts of annoying sensations like irritation, tearing, and even sometimes pain. 

This uncomfortable feeling can sometimes be caused by particles like dust, eyelashes, grain of sand, etc. In some cases, there is nothing. Foreign body sensation is also something that can make you feel as if there is something in your eye. 

To pinpoint the exact cause of what makes you feel there is something in your eye, continue reading. In this article, you will get to know the common causes and the treatments for them.

What is foreign body sensation (FBS)?

As mentioned above earlier, foreign body sensation can also make you feel that there is something in your eye. The feeling of irritation or pain felt in the eye is what we call foreign body sensation. It can be caused by an eyelash, dirt, or debris. Most often there is nothing at all in the eye.

Causes of eye discomfort

Here is a list of factors that bring you eye discomfort and may be the reason why you feel like something is in your eyes.

Dryness of the eyes

This occurs when the tears in your eyes do not keep the eye surface moist enough. A thin film of tears is left over the surface of your eyes every time you blink. 

When your eyes do not make enough tears or produce the right type of lubricating tear film, or the tears evaporate too quickly, you can get dry eye syndrome

Dryness of the eye also causes blurry vision, burning sensation, eye irritation, feeling of scratchiness in the eye. Dry eyes become common as you age. Women are affected more by this than men. 

Dryness of the eye can be caused by 

  • living in a hot climate, 
  • lack of vitamin A, 
  • old age, 
  • working on a computer for too long, etc. 

Over-the-counter eye drops can help with eye dryness.  Lifestyle changes, such as using a humidifier and taking breaks from the computer, can also help. You might also ask your eye doctor about prescription medication for dry eye.


This is a common eye condition that is caused by the eyelids getting inflamed. This tends to develop when the lubricating oil glands at the base of your eyelashes become choked and infected. 

Meibomian glands are the name for the lubricating oil glands. This gives you the sensation that there is something in your eye. In addition to this, blepharitis can also cause itching, eye redness, burning, tearing, etc. 

The chocked gland can be drained by applying a warm compress to the affected area. Keeping your eye clean can also help. See an eye doctor if you do not see any improvements.

Stye or Chalazion 

Stye and chalazion are 2 types of bumps that form on the eyelids making you feel that there is something in your eye. 

The chalazion is a painless cyst-like bump located on the upper or lower eyelid. It is caused by a blocked oil gland. 

You can develop one chalazion or multiple chalazia at a time. A chalazion can be either internal or external and can lead to a swollen and red eyelid. A chalazion is usually painless

A stye, also known as hordeolum is an infection that causes a red tender bump near the edge of the lid. It can also occur at the base of an eyelash. It can also occur in any of the tiny oil glands. A stye makes your eye feel sore and scratchy. 

Both the chalazion and stye usually disappear on their own within a few days. Applying a warm compress to your eye can also help drain the affected area. A stye or chalazion that doesn’t rupture on its own may need to be treated with an antibiotic or drained surgically.


Popularly known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is the result of the conjunctiva (a tissue that lines the inner surface of your eyelid and covers the white part of the eye (sclera)) being inflamed. 

Pink-eye causes you to feel that there is something in your eye. Allergies, bacteria, and viruses can cause conjunctivitis.

Symptoms of pink eye include watery and puffy eyes, red eyes, itchiness in the eye, discharge from the eye, and light sensitivity. Applying a cool compress or a damp towel to your eye can help treat it.

Conjunctivitis is very contagious since it is caused by bacterial infection. It is best not to get close to someone suffering from pink eye. Antibiotics can help treat pink eye. 

Seek medical attention if you find out that you have pink eye.

Injury to the cornea

The cornea is the tissue that covers the eye’s iris and pupil. A scratch or injury to the cornea can cause vision problems. Corneal injury is a very serious issue. Your cornea can be injured by a foreign particle under your eyelid, poking your eye, or even vigorously rubbing your eyes.

A cut to your cornea is deeper and usually caused by being hit in the eye with something sharp or with huge force. An injury to your cornea can leave behind a lingering sensation that there’s something in your eye. 

Symptoms of corneal injury include; pain, redness, tearing, and headache. Minor corneal injuries tend to heal on their own within a few days. 

You can also apply a cold compress to your closed eyelid several times a day for relief. If the injury is more severe, seek immediate treatment. 

Some corneal injuries can have a permanent effect on your vision without proper treatment. You may also need antibiotic or steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation and your risk of scarring.

Foreign object

Something can be stuck in your eye even though you cannot see it. You can try removing the object by flushing the object out of your lower lid using artificial tear eye drops or saline solution as you hold your eyelid open. 

Using a damp cotton swab to gently tap the object can also get rid of the foreign object. If none of these methods work, see a medical doctor.

Eye herpes

Eye herpes (ocular herpes) is an infection of the eye caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV). Eye herpes can cause eye discomfort. 

Symptoms include eye pain, discharge, redness, inflammation, etc. For treatment, you may need antiviral medication or steroid eye drops.

The key takeaway from this article

The feeling of something in your eye can be caused by a number of health conditions or a foreign object stuck in your eye. Getting to know the exact cause can help you treat this better. You can also see an eye doctor for better medical treatment.


Michael Sarfo
Content Creator at Wapomu

Michael Sarfo is a graduate of the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a content creator for enochkabange.com and a writer for Wapomu

Dr. Ehoneah Obed is a registered pharmacist and a member of the Pharmaceutical Society of Ghana. He has a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and has experience working in a Tertiary hospital as well as various community pharmacies. He is also a software engineer interested in healthcare technologies.

His love for helping others motivates him to create content on an array of topics mostly relating to the health of people and also software engineering content.

He is knowledgeable in digital marketing, content marketing, and a host of other skills that make him versatile enough to uplift any team he joins.

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1 Comment

  • What makes one eye blur, making it impossible to see clearly, and how can it corrected?

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