4 common causes of eye injuries and how to manage them
Anyone can get an eye injury, whether at home or at work. Eye injuries such as bruises, punctures, and scratches from accidents, exposure to chemicals, or other causes can range from mild to severe. However, it is important to treat and manage these injuries and consider medical intervention if required.
Here are some common causes of eye injuries and how they can be managed:
- Foreign body in the eye: it could be anything, a tiny object, a grain of sand, or even just an eyelash. The first step is always to avoid rubbing the eyes or try to remove the foreign body with your fingers as this may damage the cornea. Instead, wash the eyes with clean water or sterile saline. If the foreign body remains or there is discomfort, seek immediate medical care.
- Chemical exposure to the eyes: chemicals, especially household cleaning ones, may accidentally splash into the eyes and could potentially damage the eyes. Therefore, it is important to wash the eyes with clean water or sterile saline, immediately for at least 15 minutes. After flushing the eyes, seek specialized medical care to ensure that no serious damage has occurred. It is essential to wear protective eyeglasses when handling concentrated chemicals to prevent such incidents.
- A direct trauma (blunt blow) to the eye: blunt eye trauma is most common while participating in sports, such as boxing or football. During such an accident, the patient is advised to keep their head elevated and place ice packs gently over the eye, without putting pressure on the eyeball. This helps reduce pain and swelling. If the pain persists, vision is affected, or the surrounding skin-color changes, consult a doctor as soon as possible.
- Wound in the eye or on the eyelid: in case of sharp injury to the eyeball, don't wash the wound. Instead, apply a sterile bandage over the eye with the eyelids closed without adding pressure on the eyeball and seek immediate medical aid to assess the damage and proper treatment.