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

Jun 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

woman touching her eye due to discomfort

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

Jun 1, 2024 | Dry Eye Syndrome

Have you ever felt like there is something stuck in your eye even though nothing is there? Maybe you tried blinking or rubbing your eyes to try to find relief. This sensation is called “gritty eyes,” and it can feel like you have sand or dirt in your eyes. While it might seem like a minor annoyance, gritty eyes can often be a sign of an underlying condition. Here are some of the most common causes of this issue: 

Dry eye syndrome 

This condition happens when your eyes don’t produce enough tears or when the quality of your tears is poor, leading to dryness, irritation, and a gritty feeling in the eyes. When the surface of your eye doesn’t get enough moisture, it can feel like something is lodged in your eye. In some cases, artificial tears or warm compresses can help you manage or reduce these symptoms. However, if your dry eye symptoms persist or get worse, you should visit an eye doctor for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment.  

Our dry eye specialists in Kildeer and Elgin can help you find relief from dryness, irritation, and that gritty sensation. We offer a wide range of treatments and dry eye products to improve tear production and your quality of life. 


Blepharitis, or inflammation of your eyelids, can also cause this sensation of having something in your eye. This condition causes redness and swelling along the edges of the eyelids, which can irritate the surface of the eye and make it feel like there is a foreign object stuck in your eye. Treatment for blepharitis typically involves keeping the eyelids clean and using warm compresses to reduce inflammation. 

Foreign object in your eye 

You might also feel like there’s something stuck in your eye because there actually is a foreign object in your eye. You could have a small piece of dust or dirt or even an eyelash lodged in your eye. In some cases, these foreign bodies may be visible and easy to remove on your own. However, if you are unable to locate or remove the object, it’s best to seek professional help from an eye doctor. 


Allergens such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dander can trigger an allergic reaction in the eyes, leading to symptoms like itching, redness, and yes, gritty eyes. Managing allergies with antihistamines or avoiding triggers can help reduce these symptoms and provide relief for that uncomfortable feeling in your eyes. 

Underlying issues 

In some cases, feeling like something is stuck in your eye may be a symptom of a more serious underlying issue such as corneal abrasions or infections. These conditions can cause significant pain and discomfort and should not be ignored. If you experience persistent symptoms such as sharp pain, redness, light sensitivity, or changes in vision along with the sensation of something being stuck in your eye, seek immediate medical attention from an eye doctor. 

The next time you feel like something is stuck in your eye, remember there are several possible causes for this uncomfortable sensation. Many people ignore this symptom, hoping it will go away. However, if this issue persists and you notice other symptoms like redness and light sensitivity, it’s important to see an eye doctor for professional care. Reach out to us today to schedule an eye exam in Elgin or Kildeer and let us help you find the best treatment for your specific needs.