More severe common eye injuries need immediate medical attention to save your vision. We’ve picked out five common eye injuries, and how to treat them. This guide will help you understand the severity of your eye injury, treatments, and how to prevent eye injuries.
More than 50,000 Australians sought medical care for eye injury treatment over five years. Two-thirds were male, and 35% of the injuries were from a fall while 23% were from assaults. Open wounds of the eyelids made up 27% of eye injury hospitalisations in Australia.
A corneal abrasion is a small scratch to your eye’s surface. Common causes include rubbing your eye when you have dust or sand in your eye, or getting poked in your eye. Scratching your eye is very uncomfortable. It’s common to see redness, watering and severe sensitivity to light until your eye heals.
Scratches increase your risk of infections in your eye, so you want to seek treatment. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help seal the eye and keep the bacteria or fungi out. Don’t add a patch, because bacteria like warm and dark areas. Loosely tape a shield over your eye, and use your eye drops as prescribed.
Getting sprayed or splashed in the eye can be scary. Some substances might sting or burn but be fairly harmless while other substances can cause severe eye injury. Acids can cause burning or redness, but you can flush them out fairly easily. Alkali is much more severe and can cause more damage to your eye.
When you get sprayed, put your eyes under a steady stream of warm water for 15 minutes. This will flush the eye. Call your local emergency room, urgent care or doctor’s office for advice on your next steps. If your eye is very red and painful with blurry vision, go directly to your nearest hospital. Add a cold compress to your eyes while you wait.
A foreign object like a fishhook or metal can penetrate your eye, and you should visit your urgent care centre or emergency room immediately if this happens to you. If you attempt to remove it yourself, you could cause a worse injury. Try to loosely tape an eye shield or paper cup over your eye to protect it.
Small, sharp shards of metal embedding in the eye’s surface are other common eye injuries. They can form a scar and rust ring if you leave them. They cause irritation, tearing, swelling and redness. Your eye doctor should remove these objects, and they may prescribe eye drops.
Swollen, puffy eyelids or eye swelling can come from experiencing trauma to the eye. For immediate treatment, put a cold compress or ice pack over the eye. A black eye is common, and this is bruising around your eye. You should see your eye doctor to make sure you don’t have internal damage.
Eye bleeding looks much more than it actually is. Blood will leak from small, broken blood vessels in your eye. These blood vessels are between your eye’s clear covering and the white of the eye. It’s extremely common, and it can result from a minor eye injury.
Eye bleeding is painless, and it doesn’t interfere with your vision. It can be a small portion of your eye, or it can spread over the entire white of your eye. There is no treatment for this condition. It clears up in a few weeks by itself.
You should wear protective glasses or goggles during risky activities. Make sure your eye shield has side protection if you work around flying options or metal shards. Wear goggles every time you work around chemicals. You should wash your hands every time you deal with chemicals or anything that you could transfer to your eye.
If you have an eye injury, seeing an eye doctor is vital. You can contact us to set up an appointment or get advice about your eye injury.