More than 700,000 Americans injure their eyes at work every year. This number is even higher for home eye-related emergencies, where everyday objects can easily get into your eyes and cause significant damage, especially if left untreated.
Here are some of the most common eye emergencies and how to respond to them effectively.
Cleaning chemicals and hair and cosmetic products can damage your eyes when you’re exposed to them. The risk is even higher with acid and alkaline products, which cause permanent damage to your cornea.
If, by any chance, you’re exposed to these chemicals, you should first wash your hands with soap and water to prevent further exposure. Once your hands are clean, tilt your head over the sink and run clean, cold water over your eyes for about 15 minutes. You should always see a doctor in these types of situations for further treatment and an eye exam to check the extent of your injuries.
Cuts and scratches are pretty common. You can get one by simply rubbing your eye with a foreign object. Cuts and scratches to the eye cause bleeding and swelling.
If your eyes are bleeding, you should cover them with a clean dressing and go to a doctor immediately. You can also ease swelling and inflammation by applying a cold press. While you’re at it, make sure not to apply too much pressure on your eye to avoid further complications.
This is, by far, the most common type of eye injury. Anything from your eyelashes to dust and other particles can easily get into your eyes and cause discomfort or damage. While you may be tempted to rub your eye to get the object out, doing that may worsen the problem.
Instead, try rinsing your eyes gently with cold water. Rinsing your eyes should get rid of most foreign objects, but there’s still a chance it may cause other damage, such as scratching of the cornea. If your eyes are badly injured by a foreign object, you may experience swelling, light sensitivity, and soreness. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should visit a doctor immediately for an eye checkup.
Anyone who plays sports has at least once taken a direct hit to the eye. Fortunately, most of these injuries aren’t very serious and can be handled by simply applying a cold press to your eye to prevent swelling.
That said, you should also look out for visual disturbance symptoms like floaters. These may indicate severe trauma to the eye, necessitating immediate medical attention.
While most eye emergencies are pretty menial and treatable at home, some may cause permanent damage and even blindness. If you’ve recently had an eye injury, visit the San Marcos Vision Center in San Marcos, Texas or call us at (512) 890-0660 to discuss any questions with our team of qualified medical professionals.