How To Handle An Eye Emergency

How you handle an eye emergency may determine whether or not your vision is permanently damaged. When eye injuries occur it is important to see an optometrist, ophthalmologist or go to the emergency room immediately. Below is a quick guide to treating these emergencies prior to getting to the doctors. If you suffer an eye injury that impairs your vision, do not try and drive yourself, find a safe way to reach your destination.

Blunt injury or cuts to the eye:


  • Cover the eye with any kind of protective shield (like a foam cup and tape)
  • Do not rub or touch your eyeball
  • Avoid taking any type of over the counter pain medications (such as Tylenol or Advil) as they can thin your blood and may cause increased bleeding
  • Do not try to rinse the eye

Foreign objects in the eye:


  • Do not try to remove anything that is on the cornea, do not touch the eye
  • If object is in the whites or your eyes or eyelids, try if possible to remove with a Q-tip or Kleenex, avoid using your fingers if possible

 Chemicals in the eyes:


  • Flush out the eye to dilute the substance by mixing it with water- this will help remove as much chemical residue as possible
  • Flood the eye with a steady stream of water for 15 minutes
  • After rinsing is complete, cover the eye with a sterile pad and take the chemical bottle to the emergency room

Categories: Eye Health 101

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