Why Does It Feel Like Something Is Stuck in My Eye?

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Do you ever feel like there’s something stuck in your eye, but you can’t find anything? It can be incredibly frustrating and uncomfortable, causing you to constantly rub or blink your eyes to try to find relief. But what exactly causes this feeling? There are several reasons why you may feel like something is stuck in your eye, including a corneal abrasion, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, a stye, and dry eye. Understanding the underlying cause can help you find relief and get your eyes back to feeling their best. 

Corneal abrasion 

One possible reason for feeling like something is stuck in your eye is a corneal abrasion. This happens when the outer layer of the cornea gets damaged, usually by a foreign object scratching the surface of the eye. Symptoms of a corneal abrasion include pain, sensitivity to light, and a foreign body sensation. If you think you might have a corneal abrasion, it’s crucial to visit an eye doctor for the right diagnosis and treatment to avoid infections and help with healing. 


Another common cause of that annoying sensation could be conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. This condition occurs when the conjunctiva (the thin membrane covering the white part of your eye) becomes inflamed due to a virus or bacteria. Along with feeling like there’s something in your eye, other symptoms of conjunctivitis include redness, itching, and discharge. Treatment for conjunctivitis may include antibiotic drops or ointments prescribed by your eye doctor. 


Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids that can also cause that annoying feeling of having something lodged in your eye. This condition can lead to redness, crusting along the eyelid margins, and a gritty sensation in the eyes. Keeping your eyelids clean and using warm compresses can help manage blepharitis and relieve discomfort.  


A stye is a small bump that forms on or inside the eyelid due to a blocked oil gland. In addition to swelling and tenderness around the affected area, a stye can also make it feel like there’s something stuck in your eye. Styes may resolve on their own with warm compresses but sometimes require medical intervention if they become infected or don’t improve.  

Dry eye syndrome 

One of the most common reasons why it may feel like something is stuck in your eye is dry eye syndrome. Dry eye syndrome occurs when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or if those tears evaporate too quickly. This can lead to symptoms like itching, burning, light sensitivity, and redness. You may also feel like there’s grit or sand trapped under your eyelids even though nothing is there. Using artificial tears regularly, staying hydrated, and taking regular breaks from screen time can help relieve dry eye symptoms. In more severe cases, a specialist may be needed.  

If you’re experiencing that annoying sensation of something being stuck in your eye, don’t ignore it! There could be an underlying issue such as a corneal abrasion, conjunctivitis, blepharitis, a stye, or dry eyes causing this discomfort. EyeQ Optical specializes in diagnosing and treating dry eye syndrome along with other eye conditions that may be causing this issue. Give us a call today to schedule an appointment with our dry eye specialist in Spokane Valley, Washington.  

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