Protecting your eyes from injury is one of the simplest things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life.
Are you taking steps to prevent 90 percent of eye injuries? Wearing protective eye wear greatly reduces your risk of an eye injury and vision loss.
According to a National survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35% of respondents wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance. Even less while playing sports.
How to Care for an Eye Injury
If you have an eye injury, see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor. Some problems, like a detached retina, can only be seen during a medical examination. An increase in eye pressure or slow bleeding only become obvious once they get really serious.
Eye injuries can cause vision loss or blindness.
Common causes of eye injuries include:
• Blows from hands, balls or other sport equipment
• Flying pieces of material from explosions or industrial work
• Flying objects like darts
• Chemical splashes
DO NOT attempt to treat a serious eye injury yourself.
Common Symptoms of Eye Injury
Possible serious eye injury signs that require medical help:
• Pain in the eye
• Blurry vision
• Cut or torn eyelid
• One eye does not move as well as the other
• One eye sticks out of the eye socket farther than the other
• Pupil size or shape is unusual
• Blood in the eye
• Matter in the eye that cannot be removed by blinking
First Aid Treatment for Eye Injuries
What To Do If You Get Sand or Other Small Particles in Your Eye:
Usually it is not an emergency if you get sand, dirt, dust or other small natural particles in your eye. Blinking and tears usually flush out natural particles.
However, metal, glass or other man-made materials can be serious. These kinds of objects can become embedded in the surface of the eye and cause ongoing irritation and more damage.
• DO NOT rub the eye.
• Blink several times and allow tears to flush out the particle.
• Lift the upper eyelid over the lashes of your lower lid to let the eyelashes try to brush the particle out.
• Use eyewash, saline solution or running tap water to flush the eye out.
• Visit your doctor or go to the emergency room as soon as possible.
For All Other Eye Injuries
Injuries other than grit in the eye or small scratches to the eye should be considered potentially serious.
• DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye.
• DO NOT try to remove any objects stuck in the eye.
• Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
• Over-the-counter eye drops can be more painful or make the injury worse.
• Prescription medications should only be used for exactly the condition they were prescribed for, not for emergency treatment.
• See a doctor as soon as possible.
• If you can’t get to an ophthalmologist right away, go to the emergency room.
If You Get Hit in the Eye
• Gently apply a small cold compress to reduce pain and swelling.
• Don’t use steaks or other food items. These can get bacteria into the eye.
• DO NOT apply any pressure.
• If a black eye, pain or visual disturbance occurs even after a light blow, immediately contact your ophthalmologist or emergency room. Even a light blow can cause a significant eye injury, like a retinal detachment.
If Your Eye Has Been Cut or Punctured
• Gently place a protective cover over the eye.
• Do not press the cover against the eye.
• DO NOT rinse with water.
• DO NOT remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
• DO NOT rub or apply pressure to eye.
• Don’t take aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs thin the blood and may increase bleeding.
• After you have finished protecting the eye, get emergency medical help.
Chemical Burns and Splashes in the Eye
• Immediately flush the eye with plenty of clean water.
• Seek emergency medical treatment right away.
• Look for information on the chemical that got into the eye as some chemicals cause more eye damage than others.
Eye Injury Facts
• Most eye injuries happen at work- especially in factories and on construction sites.
• 40% of eye injuries happen at home- doing home repairs, cleaning and cooking.
• Many eye injuries are related to sports.
• Men are more likely to get an eye injury than women.
• Sun can damage eyes just like objects, chemicals and dust. You can wear sunglasses or UV- protective googles to prevent sun damage.
Don’t find out the hard way; Protect your vision and use the above recommendations to prevent an eye injury. If you have any further questions, contact FOCUS Eye Centre today.