First Aid For Your Injured Eye

Posted on: 29 May 2015

You may take your eyes for granted, until something happens to them. You splash a chemical in them or a piece of metal flies into them while you're working on a project. In that moment, you realize how important your eyes are and how easy it is to lose your sight. Should you get something in your eye, here are some steps to take to protect your vision before heading off to a hospital emergency room to see the doctors.

1. Dust and Dirt in Your Eye

The tiniest speck of dust can feel like a rock in your eye. Your eye will often flush it out without too much of your help. Try one or more of these techniques to get the irritation out of your eye:

  • Blink several times to help your eye wash the object out with your tears.
  • Open your eye under a faucet with cool water.
  • Grab your lower eyelashes and pull your eye lid down to try to see the object in the lower part of the eye.
  • Use a cotton swab to hold your upper eyelid while you pull it up over the swab to spot the object in the upper part of the eye.

Don't rub your eye while trying to get rid of the object. You'll risk scratching your eye, causing more problems. If you fail to remove the object after a few minutes, contact your eye doctor for help.

2. Larger Objects Lodged in the Eye

Should a piece of glass or metal enter your eye, you'll need quick medical attention.

  • Leave the object in your eye - never try to remove it yourself. You'll risk damaging the eye more by pulling the object out.
  • Place a clean cloth over the object and your eye.
  • Try not to touch your eye or the object so you don't make the damage worse.

3. Scratches from an Object No Longer in the Eye

If the glass or metal piece hits your eye but falls out, you may have scratches on the cornea.

  • Do not rub your eye.
  • Place a damp cloth on your eye and hold it in place until the doctors can examine your eye.

4. A Blow to Your Eye

If you get hit in the face by something, or someone, you may have a black eye from the blood pooling around your eye, under the skin. This will clear up on its own, but if you have pain and sensitivity around the eye, you may have some broken bones. If you have any pain around the eye, swelling or broken skin, you'll need to see a doctor.

  • Hold a cool, damp cloth on your eye until you see the doctor.
  • Take an anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, to help with the pain and swelling.

5. Chemicals in Your Eye

Many household chemicals contain warnings about getting them in your eye. Do your best to flush them out before you see a doctor so the chemicals won't continue to irritate the eye tissue.

  • Hold your eye open under a faucet or stand with your face in the shower.
  • Flush your eye out for several minutes with cool water.
  • Cover your eye with a clean cloth before heading to the doctor.

When You Can't Remember What To Do

If you have a moment of panic when you get something in your eye and don't know what to do, cover your eye with a clean cloth and do nothing else. You'll have more damage doing the wrong thing than leaving the eye alone for the emergency personnel to look at. Any hospital, such as Peninsula Community Health Services- Medical (Cottonwood) will have a trained specialist that can help you.