Eye injuries are some of the scariest wounds to receive. Because the eyes are so vulnerable and delicate, sustaining damage to them can leave anyone confused about what to do. That’s why it’s important to know what steps to take – and what not to do – before one happens.
The best way to prevent an eye injury is to wear protective eyewear when participating in sports, crafts, or work where particles are likely to fly toward the eye. However, should an eye wound occur, start with these steps and see an eye care professional as soon as possible.
How to Identify Injuries in the Eye
These symptoms can indicate that you or someone you love has sustained an eye injury:
- Problems seeing
- Pain in the eye that doesn’t fade
- Bruising or redness
- One eye doesn’t move as well as the other eye, or sticks farther out of the socket than the other does
- You see blood in the clear part of the eye, or the eye is bleeding
- One or both eyes have pupils of unusual shape or size
- A sensation that something is in the eye that tears or blinking doesn’t dislodge
- An object sticking out of the eye
All these symptoms can indicate a serious problem. The person affected should get medical help right away.
Three Things to Do if You Injure Your Eye
Here are three things you can do about minor eye injuries:
- A cold compress laid gently over the eye can help reduce swelling and ease pain.
- If chemicals or foreign substances have ended up in your eye, flush your eye with water for 15 minutes. Call for medical assistance right away.
- When a foreign object ends up in your eye, don’t rub the eye. Pull your upper eyelid down and blink several times. If that doesn’t dislodge the particle, you can use an eyewash.
Three Things NOT to Do if You Injure Your Eye
- Never rub the injured eye! Avoid putting pressure on your eye at all.
- Do not use steaks, vegetables, or other food items for a cold compress.
- Do not try to remove objects stuck in your eye. Call 911 or get immediate medical help.