Eye Injuries

What are eye injuries?

Eye injuries or pain frequently require a visit to the physician. One of the most common causes of eye pain is a chemical or an object, such as dirt, in the eye. This can cause irritation and damage to the cornea (the clear covering of the eye). Other causes of eye pain or sudden vision problems include glaucoma (elevated pressure in the eye), retinal detachment (detachment of a deep inner lining in the eye), and problems with blood flow and nerves to and from the eye.


How can I treat an eye injury at home?

For objects in the eye you should wait for your natural tearing, which will wash away most small objects, to cleanse the eye. Now gently rinse the eye with water if natural tearing is insufficient to cleanse away the object. Softly touch the object with a moist piece of cotton if it is clinging to the eyelid or the white of the eye. You should avoid scraping at the eye or using instruments to remove any object. If chemicals splash in the eye you need to flush the eye with water for 15 to 20 minutes.


When should I seek professional care for an eye injury?

You should seek immediate medical attention if you are experience persistent pain, visual changes, or redness after removing any object, if the objects in the eye are over the pupil you should seek medical attention, if the objects seem to be stuck in the eye or are not easily rinsed away, if you are splashed with acidic or caustic chemicals, such as drain-cleaning products, if you experience any traumatic or non-traumatic sudden visual loss or loss of visual field, or if you experience redness, discharge, visual problems, or pain after flushing the eye.


How can I prevent eye injuries?

One of the best ways to prevent an eye injury is to always wear eye protection when using chemicals or cleaning products, or when using any type of machinery or gardening equipment.