This section of the book is from the "Household Companion: The Family Doctor" book
Small particles, of sand, dust, cinders, from a locomotive, etc., often get under the upper or lower eyelid; most frequently the latter. If the particle be very small, closing the eyes and blowing the nose hard several times, rolling the eyeballs at the same time, will be apt to work it, by aid of the flow of tears, to the inner corner of the eye; where it can be easily removed. To relieve another person of such an annoyance, first make sure where it is. Open the eye in a strong light, and draw down the lower lid. Use a magnifying glass, if one can be got (a good thing always to have in a house). If you see the speck, a camel's-hair pencil (small paintbrush) will be the best thing to get it out with. Draw the brush backwards against it; don't push at it with the point of the brush. If there is no such brush at hand, the corner of a soft handkerchief may be used instead.
Should nothing be found under the lower lid, you must look under the upper one. Seat the person on a chair, and stand behind him; then, with his head leaning back, hold a lead-pencil or pen-holder in the right hand, and, drawing out the upper lid by its lashes, the patient looking downward, you lay the pencil along the lid and turn the latter up over the pencil. It is not difficult, with a little confidence, to do this with a finger instead of a pencil, and standing in front of the patient. While the lid is turned up, look closely to find the intruding particle, and remove it with a brush or a handkerchief, as above described. The eyes must then be kept at rest, closed for a while, to get over the disturbance; otherwise a troublesome inflammation may result. Quite often, when there has been a particle in the eye, but it has been rubbed out, there will still be left a feeling, exactly as if it was still there. When this is the case, a careful examination showing it to be so, the irritation will gradually disappear, if the eyes are kept quiet.
Pieces of stone or iron sometimes fly into the eyes and lodge in the front of the ball. Their removal will require surgical skill. A powerful magnet may assist in getting out a fragment of steel or iron from the eye.
After all, to get a movable particle out of one's eye, the best way in most cases will be for the person to open both eyes in a basin of clean cold water; moving the head once or twice from side to side while they are open, so as to wash the particle out of the eye.