Your eye tries to flush away foreign objects by watering and blinking. If that doesn't work, you can try to get it out yourself or ask someone else to help you. If the object is on the lower eyelid, for example, you can carefully try to get it out with an unused tissue. It’s important not to start rubbing your eye, even though that’s often the natural reflex. Rubbing can damage the cornea, especially if the object in your eye is hard or has sharp edges. If possible, you should avoid touching the cornea when trying to remove the foreign object.
If you get chemicals in your eye, the first thing you should do is try to wash your eye as thoroughly as possible with plenty of clean water.
If you are unable to remove a foreign object yourself, you will need help from an eye doctor. Doctors can carefully lift your eyelid and quickly remove any foreign matter. Eye drops with a local anesthetic can be used to numb the eye beforehand if necessary.
A superficial corneal injury can be treated with an ointment. Some eye ointments contain muscle-relaxants or antibiotics. Eye-muscle-relaxants make the pupil dilate a lot, causing the eye to become temporarily more sensitive to light and blurring your vision. You can use a painkiller like ibuprofen to relieve any pain in your eye. Painkillers are available as eye drops or tablets.
Eye patches usually aren’t used for minor eye injuries. Studies have shown that they don’t speed up the healing process, and could in fact slow it down. Only being able to see through one eye isn’t only frustrating, it can also increase the risk of further accidents. You need both eyes to be able to judge how close or far away things are.
If you think you might have a serious eye injury, it’s important to seek medical attention quickly. It's then a good idea to carefully cover the eye and have somebody take you to an eye doctor or hospital, preferably an eye clinic. You could cover it with a cupped hand, for instance. Above all, do not touch or rub your eye, no matter how much it might itch or burn.