Treating Eye Injuries And Protecting Your Vision

An accident involving your eyes can happen quickly. Even small injuries can impact your vision if not treated promptly. Here are a few of the common eye injuries and what you should do to prevent a loss of eyesight.

1. Small objects in the eye.

Dust and dirt can easily get into your eyes. Your tears normally wash these foreign objects out of your eye. If the irritation doesn't go away after a few minutes, resist the urge to rub your eye. You risk scratching the eye and creating more irritation. Try these approaches to removing something small from your eye.

  • Blink several times quickly to wash the object from the eye.
  • Put eye drops in the eye to wash it out.
  • Run water over your eye to flush material from it.
  • Gently pull the upper eyelid up over a cotton swab and look for the foreign material.

If you're still bothered by the material after these attempts to remove it, cover your eye with a clean cloth or bandage and go to an urgent care center for help.

2. Large objects in the eye.

If your eye should be pierced by a sharp object, this demands the attention of an emergency physician to prevent permanent vision loss.

  • Don't try to remove the object from your eye.
  • Cover the eye with a clean cloth or bandage.
  • If the items extends out from your eye, hold onto it gently so it doesn't damage the eye further as someone takes you to the emergency clinic.
  • If no one is available to take you, call emergency services to come for you. Don't try to drive yourself to the emergency room.

3. Cuts and scrapes on the eye.

A cut in your eye by an object will heal naturally, as long as the injury doesn't become infected. Should you have a cut or scrape on your eye, get to your eye doctor or an emergency clinic as soon as possible.

  • Hold a clean cloth or bandage over your eye. Your eye may have some drainage, so have extra cloths or bandages available while you get to the clinic.
  • Don't rub or push on the eye.
  • Don't put eye drops or water in your eye.

4. Blunt trauma to the eye.

You may have taken a blow to the eye during an accident that doesn't puncture the eye or leave any material in it. You'll notice bruising around the eye and the skin may be swollen and painful to the touch. The blow may have fractured bones around the eye, which won't be apparent until a doctor takes X-rays of the area. If you have any of the following symptoms, go to an urgent care clinic promptly:

  • the skin around the eye is cut and bleeding
  • the area around the eye is painful to touch
  • the eye is swollen shut or appears to be forced out of the socket

Place a cool, damp cloth over the eye for some relief while you are taken to the emergency center.

5. Chemical splash in the eye.

In an instant, you can splash a hazardous substance into your eye and cause serious damage. When this happens, try flushing the eye out before going to the emergency room.

  • Hold your head to one side under a water faucet or put your face into the shower to allow the water to flow over the eye.
  • Allow the water to run over your eye for several minutes.
  • Cover the eye with a clean cloth and don't rub the eye.
  • Get to an emergency clinic quickly.

Immediate attention to any eye injury is necessary to prevent further eye damage. If unsure what to do, cover the eye with a clean cloth and get to urgent care quickly. You risk damaging your eye more if you handle the eye too much before being seen by a doctor.