The severity of most injuries can be greatly reduced by the quick administration of first-aid. But most times, paramedics and other professionals aren’t able to get to the scene fast enough. Hence, it is important that each one of us know some basic first-aid protocols to follow in times of medical emergencies.

The eye is a delicate organ and can get injured easily. If not handled carefully, the injury can lead to an infection and permanent vision impairment. In this blog, we’ll go over some common eye injuries and how to treat them with first-aid to keep them from getting worse. 

Let’s start with the most common one 一 

Eye Scratches (Corneal Abrasion)

These are very common. Scratches in the eye can be self-inflicted, caused by dust, dirt, sand, wood shavings, metal particles, contact lenses or pieces of paper. They can also be caused when playing with your dog or cat. 

First aid for an eye scratch 

Majority of eye scratches are minor and heal within a few days. However, if you are in a lot of pain and discomfort, follow these precautions if you cannot visit the doctor immediately. 

  • Rinse your eye with saline solution or clean water, and do not rub your eyes 
  • Increase blinking if dust or sand particle was the cause of the abrasion
  • If you notice a small object on your eyeball, gently wiping it out with a wet washcloth may help. Do not poke it. If the object is lodged in your eye, DO NOT wipe it.

Always consult your ophthalmologist without much delay, even for eye scratches, so that they can check for damage. 

Blow to the eye (Blackeye) 

A black eye is caused by a blow to the eye or the tissue surrounding it. The area around the eye will become bruised, swollen, and it can get very painful. It’s also possible that the eyelid is cut, resulting in bleeding and distorted vision.

First aid if you get hit in the eye 

  • Apply a cold compress to help with the pain and swelling 
  • DO NOT apply pressure 
  • After 24 hours, change to warm compresses to aid in the reduction of bruising.

If there is bleeding, change in vision, or it hurts when your eye moves, see a doctor without delay since this can get quite serious without immediate medical attention. 

Cuts and punctures 

This type of eye injury is more common than expected and is very serious. Do not attempt to wash or remove anything trapped in your eye or eyelid if it has been cut or pierced in any manner. 

First aid for eye cuts and puncture wounds 

  • Place a protective cover over the injury. Taping the bottom of a paper cup on top of the cheekbone is often recommended. 
  • DO Not apply pressure 
  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These medications thin the blood and may cause excessive bleeding.

Chemical burns and splashes 

Chemical burns can happen in various ways, but the most common cause is liquid splashing into the eye. Strong acids and alkalis, such as bleach, hairspray, pepper spray, etc., are highly toxic and can harm the ocular surface permanently.

First aid for chemical exposure of the eye 

  • Place your head under a running faucet or stand under a showerhead
  • Try to keep the injured eye open as closing it would only trap the chemical in and cause more damage 
  • Seek medical attention immediately 

Anyone can get an eye injury at any time. It’s important that you ALWAYS take precautionary measures to prevent these eye injuries. And as important as prevention of eye injuries are, knowing what to do and what not to do in case of an unfortunate accident is also important. 

Whatever the injury might be, always seek medical attention. An eye doctor can assess for any serious damage and make sure that the symptoms don’t get worse later on. 

If you are a resident of Dakshina Kannada or Udupi district, one of the best eye hospitals in Mangalore and Udupi is Prasad Netralaya. Get treated by the best eye specialists and avoid further damage due to neglect. Call us at +91 9513596565 or book an appointment if you wish to visit in person. You can also book a teleconsultation.

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