When it comes to dealing with eye injuries, you should always exercise caution. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your vision! Though we can provide you with some guidelines from a reputable source, please consider these guidelines and always turn to your medical doctor or hospital for advice concerning your specific situation.
Here are guidelines for handling eye emergencies adapted from Prevent Blindness America:
- Immediately flush the eye with water or any other drinkable liquid. Hold the eye under a faucet or shower, or pour water into the eye using a clean container. Keep the eye open and as wide as possible while flushing. Continue flushing for at least 15 minutes. If you are wearing contact lenses, the lens may be washed away.
- DO NOT use an eyecup and DO NOT bandage the area.
- Seek immediate medical treatment after flushing.
Cuts and Punctures of the Eye or Eyelid:
- DO NOT remove an object that is stuck in the eye.
- You can cover the eye with a rigid shield, but do not apply any pressure. For example, the bottom half of a paper cup can be used to cover the eye area.
- Do not wash out the eye—leave it alone.
- Seek immediate medical attention.
Specks in the Eye:
- Your first instinct may be to rub the eye—do not do this. Don’t touch the eye, and see if your natural tears wash away the speck.
- If your tears don’t naturally flush the eye, use an eyewash.
- Try lifting the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower lid.
- If you are not able to flush the eye, keep the eye closed, lightly bandage and visit a doctor immediately.
Blows to the Eye:
- Apply a cold compress such as crushed ice to the eye without putting pressure on the eye itself.
- Seek immediate medical attention if you experience pain, reduced vision or discoloration (black eye).
Prevention is always the best medicine. Take precautions to avoid eye injuries by using protective eye gear when necessary. Also, let common sense be your guide and avoid situations that have the potential for any type of injury.
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