Eyebrows and eyelashes aren't just adornments to be groomed and made up; they're meant to protect the delicate, exposed organs on our faces -- our eyes. Sometimes, however, they fail.
It's inevitable that people will get things in their eyes. Many of the objects that end up there are irritating, but minor -- like dirt and sand. Others, such as pencils, pocketknives and fishhooks, are painful to even read about. Then there are the ones that are truly unusual -- chopsticks, a fish jaw and a faucet handle, for example [source: Wasfi et al].
While the eyes are particularly vulnerable to small debris that floats in the air, they can also make contact with an object when a person falls against something or has something thrown in his or her direction. These kinds of accidents can occur in a variety of situations. Often, people get objects stuck in their eyes when they're on the job. A Massachusetts survey of work-related emergency department visits found that in a year's time, more than 3,000 workers went to the ER because of a foreign body in the eye [source: Massachusetts Department of Public Health].
Debris can usually be washed away without requiring a trip to the ER, but any object that penetrates the surface of the eye should be removed immediately by a health care professional.
On the next page, we'll take a look at objects that get stuck in other areas of the face and head.