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The chances of recovery from eye injuries are better if you have knowledge of what steps to take when it happens. Some eye injuries are common and can be prevented in the first place. For example, wearing safety glasses at the workplace or wearing sunglasses for UV protection can significantly reduce the risk of eye injuries. However, some accidents are inevitable and such emergencies should be addressed with the proper knowledge to minimize the damage. Let's see the common eye injuries and the immediate steps you should take to treat them.
Scratched eye, which is also known as corneal abrasion can happen in instant. It can be caused by a poke in the eye or sand or grain getting stuck in the eye. Regardless of the size of the object, if it comes in contact with your eyes, it can cause a corneal abrasion, which causes disruption or loss of cells in the top layer of the cornea. It leaves the person with severe discomfort in the eye, red-eye, and sometimes hypersensitivity to light.
When something gets into your eye, the one thing that you must not do is to rub and don't patch the eye either. Rubbing the eye will make more damage and patching can boost bacterial growth, increasing the risk of infection. You can try to flush the eye with an object or simply close the eye cover it with an eye shield or tapping a paper cup. Visit an eye doctor as soon as possible.
Foreign Object in the Eye:
Anything that does not belong in the eye naturally should be considered as a foreign object and has the potential to damage the eyes. It can be anything, from a metal shard to the dust particle. Depending on the force of it, it affects the cornea or conjunctiva. Sharp sensation, eye pain, redness, excessive blinking, a bloodshot eye, tearing, or eye pain are its common symptoms.
A foreign object in the eye can potentially lead to vision loss and also cause infection. To prevent it, prompt diagnosis and treatment are necessary. Ask someone to look in the eye for any visible object or damage. Sometimes, washing out the object is possible, but if that doesn't work you should visit an optometrist or ophthalmologist as early as possible to remove the object.
Perforation of the Eye:
The chances of perforating the eye are higher when an object hits it at a high speed. It can lead to serious consequences. The immediate symptoms are intense pain and sensitivity and sometimes reduced vision.
If an object has penetrated the eye, the best thing to do is to visit emergency care room. Never try to remove the object from eye yourself or rub the injured eye as it can cause more injury. To prevent your eye from further damage, you should restrict your eye movement by applying a bandage or clean cloth on the eye. If the object is too for bandage or cloth then cover the eye using a paper cup. In such a case, restricting eye movement is important.
A chemical burn is also a common eye injury at the workplace and also at home. It can easily get splashed into the eyes while working. Chemical burn also caused by rubbing the eyes immediately after using the chemicals. The symptoms depend on the type of chemical that you have used. The common symptoms are redness, pain, burning, blurry vision, and swelling of the eyelids.
Not all the chemicals are harmful when they come in contact with the eye. However, some chemicals such as fertilizers, oven or drain cleaners are considered to be dangerous. These chemicals directly affect the tissue of your eye and cause damage. In some cases, it can also cause blindness. Other acids like bleach and swimming pool chemicals can also cause eye injury, but they are comparatively less harmful.
In the case of a chemical burn, the immediate step you should take is to clear rinse the eye using freshwater or saline. It is often helpful in dramatically reducing the risk of injury and long-term damage. After rinsing your eye, visit an urgent care centre or call your doctor at home.
Eye Swelling and Bruising:
Eye swelling and bruising can be caused by blunt force trauma. For example, being hit by a baseball bat or getting punched on the eye. The facial skin around the eye socket is relatively thin and even a slight pooling of blood can cause noticeable swelling and bruising.
Applying an ice pack on the affected eye is the best immediate treatment as it reduces the swelling on the eye and also narrows the blood vessels to stop bleeding. However, don't apply pressure on the affected area. If the injury is causing you a double vision or any sort of visual disturbance, then you should visit your ophthalmologist.
Bleeding of the eye:
Bleeding of the eye is also known as the subconjunctival haemorrhage. The blood vessels beneath the white of the eye are small and delicate. When these blood vessels break it results into bleeding. The bleeding can be limited to some part of the eye or it can extend to the entire eye, making it appear completely red. It is a common eye injury and can also occur by even minor injury.
In most cases, no treatment is required as the blood will clear on its own over time and the eye will look normal. Usually, it takes seven to ten days for recovery. During the recovery period, it is important not to rub the eye as it can increase the risk of re-bleeding.
Hyphemas can cause blindness. It is a condition where blood accumulates between the cornea and the iris and covers the pupil and iris. If not complete blindness, then it partially blocks the vision. It can be connected with other internal eye injuries to the lens, eye pressure system, or retina.
In the case of hyphemas, you need urgent medical care. Call your doctor or visit a nearby emergency care centre.
Perforation of the eye, scratched eye, hyphemas, bleeding of the eye, eye swelling or bruising, and object in the eye are some of the most common eye injuries. The best way to treat eye injuries is to take immediate step to prevent further damage.
Eye injuries are common at workplaces and home. The best way to deal with them is to prevent them. At workplaces where there is a potential risk of eye injury, wearing the best safety glasses is important. Even at home, while doing activities that have a risk of eye injury, one should wear quality safety glasses.