How to Shoot Milk Out of Your Eye

February 15, 2024

When something sticks in your eye, blinking frequently and moving your head around may help the tears to flush it out. Sometimes that's not enough, though, especially if it's an object like a piece of sand or a chemical solvent. And in those cases, you're probably better off just flushing the eye with water.

The most common way to do this is by using the Valsalva maneuver: taking a deep breath, closing the mouth and pinching the nose and blowing out for about 10 to 15 seconds. People who can do this may be able to push air or liquid out of their tear ducts, LiveScience reported in a 2006 case study. But the study's authors noted that "it drives opthamologists crazy because it can lead to infection in the nasal cavity."

One alternative is to get into a bathtub or shower and hold your face under a running stream of clean, lukewarm water. Another is to use an eyecup, a small, clean drinking glass positioned with its rim resting on the bone at the base of your eye socket. (It's best not to wear contact lenses during this process.) For a really thorough flush, you can also put your head in a bowl of clean water and gently move your eyes around to rinse all parts of the eye.

If you have trouble finding the object that's stuck in your eye, you might try asking a friend to examine it for you. Ideally, this person will be slightly calmer than you and will have a good view of your eye. They should also be able to tell whether your eye is red, itchy or irritated.

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