First Aid Treatment For Eye Injuries
Our eyes are literally our windows to the world, and although most of us go through life with nothing worse than a speck of dust causing problems, there are injuries that can occur to the eye at any time. Some of these injuries will be very minor, and will necessitate only a treatment at home, while others are so serious that they carry with them the potential for loss of eyesight. Eye injuries are most likely to occur when at work or participating in sports, and in these cases, wearing safety glasses can help to prevent damage in the first place.
Treating Minor Eye Injuries
Most minor injuries to the eye involve getting a piece of grit into the eye. Often rubbing the eye to try to rid it of the irritant will only make it worse. When treating for a small foreign object in the eye, the best thing to do first is to irrigate it. If you have an eye cup, this can be used to flush water under the lids to wash out the particle. If there is no eye cup available, you can simply pour tepid water over the eye using a clean glass or cup as you tilt your head to the side. This process should be repeated several times to make sure the eye has been cleaned.
A black eye, ‘mouse’ or shiner, is easy to acquire from even a relatively light blow to the area around the eye. This area is very sensitive and the skin is very thin, so a bruise will appear from nearly any blow to the face. The eye itself is generally not involved; it is only the area around the eye that will be affected. Applying a cold compress, such as an ice pack will help to reduce swelling. Remember not to apply any pressure, however, the delicacy of the eye is not up to this and you can cause further injury. Do not bother with putting raw meat on the black eye, either, it does absolutely nothing positive and can even cause infection if E. coli bacteria are present.
Serious Eye Injuries
These injuries are often caused by burns, and while they will ultimately need professional medical care, you should begin first aid treatments immediately. Household cleaners such as oven and toilet cleaners usually contain caustic substances, and if these get into the eye, the first thing to do is to flush it with water. Burns to the eye caused by an excessive exposure to the sun or from tanning lamps will have to be seen by a physician.
Any time there is bleeding from the eye, a doctor must be consulted, as should any injury where the eyeball or cornea has been punctured. Cover the eye loosely with a gauze pad until arrival at the doctor’s. If anything becomes embedded in the eye, such as a piece of glass, do not attempt to remove it yourself, get the victim to an emergency room as quickly as possible.
An easy way to prevent things from getting in your eyes, is to make sure hands are clean and proper procedures are used when handling chemicals or anything that could be potentially harmful if gotten in the eye. Hand wipes are very helpful to have around the house and in the car.