Common Eye Emergencies and How to Respond

Common Eye Emergencies and How to Respond

Common Eye Emergencies and How to Respond

Common Eye Emergencies and How to Respond

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

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

  • Severe headaches

You should get to the emergency room immediately if you experience sudden vision loss, bleeding, pain, or swelling.


Common Eye Emergencies


  • 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


Responding to Eye Emergencies

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.


A Bleeding 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.


What Not to Do in an Eye Emergency

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.

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