Common Eye Emergencies and What to Do

Everyone can be at risk of getting an eye emergency. A small object or a splash of chemicals can enter your eye and cause severe discomfort or damage if not treated as an emergency. There are different ways you can accidentally cause damage to your eyes. It is essential to know what to expect and do in case you or someone close to you has an eye emergency.


Read on to learn about common eye emergencies and how you can respond when they happen.


Chemical Injuries


Industrial and garden chemicals can cause a chemical burn if they encounter your eyes. Fumes and aerosols can also cause burns. You can get a good prognosis if you resort to early treatment after acid gets in your eye. However, permanent corneal damage can occur when alkaline products like lime or sodium hydroxide get in your eyes.


Take the following steps if you get a chemical in your eye:


  • Wash away any chemicals in your hands using soap and water

  • Turn down your head to the side of the injured eye

  • Flush the chemical from your eye using clean tap water while holding your eyelid open

  • You can try removing your contact lenses after flushing out the chemicals

  • Rush to an emergency room, or if you are waiting for medical help, keep flashing your eye with clean water


Scratches and Cuts


If your eyelid or eyeball gets a scratch or cut, seek urgent medical treatment. You can apply a loose bandage as you wait for medical care. However, it is essential to avoid putting pressure on the affected eye.


A Small Object in the Eye


A foreign object trapped in your eye can cause damage or vision loss. You can experience irritation from things as small as dust and sand. Avoid rubbing your eyes and try to blink to see if the problem clears.


Before you touch your eyes, ensure you wash your hands or get someone with clean hands to help remove the object. Artificial tear drops can also help rinse out your eyes. Cool water can flush out any foreign object stuck on your eyelids. Contact your doctor if removing the thing becomes difficult or if you get consistent irritation.


A Large Object in the Eye


Large foreign objects stuck in the eye can cause severe damage. If you get something like metal or glass in your eye, do not touch, apply pressure, or attempt to take it out. Leave it where it is. Seek immediate medical help. As you wait, avoid moving the affected eye and cover it with a clean piece of cloth to reduce the movement.


Black Eye


People with a black eye know the pain they feel due to the damage it causes. It usually swells and can turn blue or purple. The discoloration occurs due to the bleeding under the skin. A black eye can damage not only the outer tissue but also the internal parts of the eye. It is always ideal to see a doctor because you may not know of the damage the blow caused.


A black eye can sometimes occur due to a skull fracture. If you have other symptoms accompanying the black eye, seek medical help.


For more about eye emergencies or to schedule an appointment, call Primary Eye Care at (662) 200-9842 to reach our office in Tupelo, Mississippi.

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