An eye emergency can happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. Injuries can occur due to various factors, including blunt force trauma, chemical burns, and foreign objects getting into the eye. If you experience pain, swelling, or redness in the eye, it is essential to seek medical attention. Failing to get immediate treatment can lead to vision loss.
Symptoms of eye injuries are distinct, depending on the type of injury sustained. They include:
Pain, burning, or stinging
Eye redness and irritation
Bleeding from the eye or blood in the white of the eye
Loss of vision or decreased vision
Unequal size pupils
One eye fails to move properly
An eye bulging or sticking out
Bruising around the eye
Double vision or light sensitivity
Severe itching in the eye
Discharge from the eye
You should get to the emergency room immediately if you experience sudden vision loss, bleeding, pain, or swelling.
Chemical burns or injuries caused by products getting into the eye
Small foreign objects getting into the eye, such as glass shards or sand
Large objects stuck in the eye, including metal, wood, and glass (penetrating trauma)
Blunt force trauma resulting in a black eye
Cuts and scratches on the eyeball or eyelid
You need to act fast if you sustain an eye injury. The best action is to get to the emergency room as quickly as possible. If chemicals or cleaning products get in the eye, use clean water to flush the substance.
Turn your head to the side under the tap and hold your eyelid open as the clean water runs through. If a small object gets into the eye, blink and see if tears dislodge it but do not rub the eye. If the object moves to the lower lid, use a cotton swab to remove it carefully. Use cool water to flush the eye.
If your eye is bleeding, use a loose bandage or gauze to stem the flow, but do not apply pressure. Ensure you wash your hands before touching the area around the injured eye. Get to the emergency room as soon as possible.
If you sustain an eye injury or experience an eye emergency, there are things you should not do. Do not attempt to deal with the injury yourself, as this can lead to complications. Avoid rubbing or applying pressure to the eye, and do not put ointments or medications in the eye.
Do not attempt to remove any object stuck in the eye. If you have contacts on during the injury, do not attempt to remove them, as it could worsen the injury. An exception to this is if you suffer a chemical injury and need to flush out the substance.
Eye injuries can occur anywhere, but there are steps you can take to protect your eyes. Always use protective eyewear when playing sports, working with power tools, or performing household tasks involving chemicals. Wear protective sunglasses while outdoors.
For more on common eye emergencies, visit Everything Eyes at our Delray Beach, Florida, office. Call (561) 499-2055 to schedule an appointment today.