What to Do in an Eye Emergency

Our eyes are very delicate. They are so intricately organized that even a minor injury can impair them temporarily and sometimes, permanently. However careful we are in protecting our eyes, we still injure them sometimes. To be able to stop further damage, you must therefore know what to do when eye accidents happen. Injuries can be both minor and serious from a detergent spray to a contusion. In any case, you should remain calm and do what’s proper and necessary.

Here are tips in case of an eye accident.

1. If you’ve received a strong blow on the eye (contusion), get medical attention as soon as possible. If someone is with you, ask him to call for help because it is imperative for you not to move too much. Contusions are the most serious form of eye injuries. They can cause blindness if left untreated.

2. If your eye had been splashed with a harmful chemical, do not attempt to seek for medical help right away. You’re wasting precious time. You have to first wash the affected eye immediately with running water. Close your eye and pat dry with a cloth. Only then you can call for help. Keep the container of the offending chemical; it will help the doctor determine the right treatment for you.

3. Do not put any salve or drug on your injured eye. Salve in an eye injury like perforation might worsen it.

4. If your eye had been sprayed with concentrated detergents, pour water on the affected eye and follow this up with milk. Milk has neutralizing agents against some detergent chemicals.

5. If a foreign object had been blown into your eye, resist the temptation to rub it. Rubbing will just embed the object deeper into your cornea. Instead, roll your eye while opening and closing your eyelids till the object goes into your lid’s undersurface where it’s easier to dislodge with an applicator. You can also fill a basin with clean water then lean over and blink into the water so that the object will be washed away.

6. If your eye was struck by an object, do not wash your eye even if the object that hit you is unclean. You will not be able to clean your eyes entirely, anyway. You can even cause more damage with the fluid you’ll apply by unnecessarily manipulating your eyeballs or through your incessant blinking.

7. Never attempt to remove blood or blood clots from your injured eye. This is to prevent more damage as well as to make full use of the antiseptics found naturally in blood.

8. Avoid forcing your eyelids open if you can’t do it yourself. It will cause more pain and probably more damage since an impaired eye is extra sensitive to light.

9. Keep still as much as possible if your sight is impaired as a result of an eye injury. Less movement like walking and climbing stairs can prevent second accidents like falls and further wounding. Ask for assistance as necessary.

10. Limit the use of the uninjured eye. Remember that your eyes move together so even if the affected eye is bandaged, if you move one eye, you cause the other eye to move too.

11. Do not eat before you see the doctor. If you have to get an emergency surgery, anesthesia won’t be as effective if you’ve got a full stomach. There’s also a tendency of fatal food regurgitation in an anesthetized person. Drinking fluids in small amounts however is allowed to prevent dehydration.

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