Safeguarding Your Vision: Treating Eye Injuries

According to a 2011 report by the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), more than 2.5 million eye injuries occur annually. With more than 40 percent of injuries occurring at home or at play, treating eye injuries as soon as they occur is important.



Source: Stacey Newman via iStockphoto


The first thing to know when treating eye injuries is that you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. Even if the eye injury seems insignificant, it is best to have it looked at because even minor injuries can lead to vision loss or blindness.


If faced with treating an eye injury, refer to these tips from eyeSmart:


  • – Refrain from rubbing or touching the surface, or applying pressure to the affected eye.
  • – If an object is stuck in the eye, do not try to remove it yourself.
  • – Never use medications or ointments on the injured eye unless your doctor has counseled you otherwise.
  • – Always have the injury looked at by doctor.

Punctures or Cuts to the Eye
Do not take ibuprofen, aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) because they thin the blood and may cause excessive bleeding. Be sure not to flush the eye and do not try to remove any objects, if there are any. The most important step is to shield the eye. If you do not have an eye shield in your first aid kit, the bottom of a foam or plastic cup can be secured to the skin around the eye. After shielding the eye, see an ophthalmologist or physician as soon as possible.


Foreign Particles
Lift your upper eyelid and hold it over your lower lashes. Blink to see if the particle(s) moves to the corner of your eye.


Chemical Burn
Flush your eyes repeatedly with water.


A Hit to the Eye
Without using any pressure, hold a cold compress over the eye help reduce inflammation and pain. Since even small blows can cause damage, it is a good idea to see a doctor.


Sand or Other Small Particles
Flush the eye immediately with eyewash or clean water. If the particles do not flush away or discomfort remains, see a doctor. Particles can cause scratches to the cornea, which should be addressed by a medical professional.


optomap® by Optos aids in discovery of eye injury. For more information, please visit our website.