Any kind of injury to the eyes should be taken seriously! It is always good to learn basic first aid to stop or prevent further damage when it comes to eye injuries. This knowledge can help save your eye from blurred vision, optic nerve damage, night blindness, visual impairment, and in severe cases, the loss of vision. If you are wearing contact lenses, this article will be helpful for you in case of emergency.
As much as we try to avoid events that may cause injuries to our precious eyes, but accident happens. How then can you provide first aid for different eye injuries? We will be covering the top 6 categories of eye injuries and their respective first aid procedures to prepare you for unexpected emergencies.
Table of contents
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Type Of Eye Injuries & First Aid
Please read through each section carefully to familiarize with the situation and know when to perform the right first aid procedure to minimize the harm.
A chemical burn happens when a liquid or powder chemical comes into contact with the eyes. Sometimes, it may also happen when you rub your eyes after handling chemicals. The degree of injury depends on the exposure to the chemical and the chemical itself. Moreover, injury can range from mile redness and irritation, to blurred vision and loss of an eye in serious cases. Chemical burns are pretty common in homes, offices, schools and factories.
In case a chemical burn, here’s how to provide the first aid for eye injuries:
- Firstly, it’s essential to remain calm. Panicking may cause the chemical to go deeper inside the eye.
- After that, flush them with plenty of clean water while keeping your eyes open. Don’t close your eyes as the trapped chemical can cause further damage.
- For 15 to 20 minutes, keep flushing your eyes with clean water, and after that, look for immediate medical attention from a hospital or a nearby doctor.
Foreign Object Interference
No special care is needed for debris cleaning as your eye will automatically clean it away eventually. But if a foreign object interferes in your eye, for example a metal piece, you must seek immediate attention. Getting foreign object into your eyes may be rare but it could happen, and here’s how you can perform first aid to the eyes instantly to prevent further injuries.
- Stay calm and don’t rub your eyes. Rubbing your eyes can make the situation even worse.
- Next, slowly and gently lift the upper eyelid up and out over the lower lid. Gently and gradually roll your eyes around.
- Flush your eyes carefully with plenty of water and while you are at it, keep your eyes open.
- Keep repeating the process until the object is removed from your eye. And after that, visit a nearby hospital.
- Lastly, if the object has penetrated deep inside your eye, don’t remove it! Just provide your eye with a shield/cover and seek immediate medical attention.
Blow or Impact
Blows or impacts on the eyes are pretty common. But it doesn’t mean you don’t have to take care of it. As blows or impacts on the eyes have the potential of causing eye injuries such as visual impairment due to damage to the cornea or eyeball, here’s how to provide first aid to minimize the complications before you seek medical help.
- Take a piece of cloth and wrap it around an ice-cube.
- Then, gently place it over your eye. Don’t place it for too long, take 5-10 minutes intervals, and never apply any sort of pressure.
- Don’t use any frozen food packages to cover your eye as bacteria can easily transfer from it.
- Once you start feeling comfortable, call your doctor and explain your scenario.
- Lastly, if you are experiencing any sort of color blindness, visual impairment, blurred vision, or any unusual symptoms, immediately seek medical attention from your nearest hospital or eye clinic.
Cut / Puncture / Scratched Eye
Cutting, puncturing, or scratching one’s eye may sound scary but it is actually quite common. A little rub on your eyes in the presence of debris or small particles can easily cause puncture or scratch to your eyes. And if you experience any sort of cutting, puncturing, or scratching on your eye, it’s essential to seek medical attention. But before that, here’s how to remediate things with first aid.
- Don’t wash your eye or eyelid.
- If you feel like there’s an object embedded in your eye, don’t remove it.
- Gently place a shield in front of your eye and use it to protect your eye from the surroundings or further injury.
- Don’t apply any pressure to the shield against your eye.
- Don’t take any medication and go straight to your nearest eye clinic or hospital to receive proper medical aid for the eye injuries.
Penetration of Small Particles like Sand or Dust
If you have a tiny particle of sand, debris, or dirt entered your eye, it’s not a case of emergency. This situation can easily be handled without seeking medical attention from any professional. However, you must provide immediate first aid to eliminate any serious concerns. Here’s how you can do it.
- Don’t rub your eye. Try blinking several times to allow the tears to flush out the particle automatically.
- Then, gently lift the upper eyelid over the lashes of your lower lid so that your eyelashes can brush out the particle.
- Lastly, use an eyewash, saline solution, or clean water to flush the debris out.
All Other Types Of First Aid For Eye Injuries
Now for all other eye injuries, here’s how you can provide first aid care.
- Don’t touch, rub, or apply pressure to the eye.
- If there’s something stuck in the eye, don’t try to remove it.
- Never ever apply any sort of medication or ointment to the eye. Moreover, also avoid over-the-counter eye drops/medications unless directed by a doctor.
- Go to your nearest emergency treatment center or eye clinic to see an ophthalmologist.
- Don’t postpone your visit and take an extra person with you to the hospital or eye clinic.
The first aid procedures shared here are not for treatment of any eye injuries. They are steps you can take right after the injury happens to minimize damage or prevent further injuries until you see the doctor. Please contact your nearest eye clinic or hospital as soon as possible in case of an eye injury.
For contact lens users, do read Ultimate Guide to Buying Colored Contact Lens Online for useful advices on safety of wearing contacts.
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