Almost every eye injury carries the threat of serious damage, sometimes even blindness. Understandably the casualty will be worried and distressed, and will be inclined to touch or rub the injury. A damaged eye should never be opened or examined. Removal of contact lenses is best left to the casualty or medical attendant.
Eye Injury Symptoms
- Reddening of eye.
- Partly or completely closed.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Twitching or spasm of the eyelids.
- Watering of the eye.
- Possible swelling of the eyelids.
Eye Injury Treatment
- Do not try to remove an object from any part of the eye other than the white.
- Tilt the casualty’s head to the affected side, with the eye down. Hold the eyelids apart between your thumb and finger.
- Flood with gently flowing water. Try to make the casualty blink under the water.
- If bathing does not work, gently push back the lashes of the eyelid ‘and try to dislodge’ object with a moist pad of clean material. Ask the casualty to look up if it is under the lower lid, or down if it is under the upper lid.
- Do not try to remove an object embedded in the eye – this must be done by a doctor.
- Lay the casualty down and speak words of reassurance.
- Cover both eyes with eye-pads and clean material held in place by a light bandage. Make sure the pad is not pressing on the injured eye.
- Seek medical attention.
What to Do in the Case of a Black Eye
- Check there is no damage other than the eye.
- Apply ice packs at intervals for two to three hours to reduce pain.
Eye Burn Injury
Eye burns can be caused by chemicals, heat, and flash burns from welding.
What to do in the Case of an Eye Burn Injury
- Wash chemical and heat burns, but not flash burns. Prompt equipment the eye freely and continuously with cold, flowing water for about 20 seconds, taking care to irrigate under the eyelid.
- Place an eye-pad or light clean on the eye.