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E
mergency & First Aid: Eye Injuries
 
First Aid for Eye Injuries
Emergency Conditions

© American Institute for Preventive Medicine

Do you have eye pain or visual changes after exposure to a welder's flame or other ultraviolet source?

Do you have a contact lens in an eye and can’t find it or remove it or does it cause eye pain?

Is eye pain present?

Self-Care / First Aid

For a Foreign Body Sticking Into the Eye

  • Do not remove the object.
  • Don't press on, touch, or rub the eye.
  • Cover the injured eye with a clean object, such as a paper cup that will shield, but not touch the eye or the foreign object. Use tape to hold the cup in place without putting pressure on the eye or the foreign object.
  • Gently cover the uninjured eye with a clean bandage and tape, too. This helps to keep the injured eye still. Get Immediate Care!
  • For Harmful Chemicals in the Eye(s)

  • Flush the eye(s) with water immediately!
  • Hold the injured eye open with your thumb and forefinger. At the faucet or with a pitcher or other clean container, flush the eye with a lot of water. Start at the inside corner and pour downward to the outside corner. This lets the water drain away from the body and keeps it from getting in the other eye.
  • Keep pouring the water for 10 to 30 or more minutes. Flush the eye with water until you get medical help.
  • If both eyes are injured, pour water over both eyes at the same time. Or, flush one eye with water at a time. Switch back and forth quickly to treat both eyes. Or, place the face in a sink or container filled with water. Tell the person to move his or her eyelids up and down and remove the face from the water to take breaths. Use this method if chemicals get in your eyes and you are alone.
  • Loosely bandage the eye with sterile cloth and tape. Don't touch the eye. Get Medical Care Right Away!
  • Flush the eye(s) with water immediately!

    For a Bruise from a Minor Injury that Surrounds the Eye, But Does Not Damage the Eye Itself

  • Put a cold compress over the injured area right away. Do this for 15 minutes, every hour, for 48 hours.
  • Take an over-the-counter medicine for the pain and swelling.
  • After 48 hours, put a warm compress over the injured area.
  • Seek medical care if these measures do not help.

  • To Remove a Foreign Particle On the White of the Eye or Inside the Eyelids

  • Do not remove an object stuck in the eye, a metal chip, or a foreign body over the colored part of the eye. (See For a Foreign Body Sticking Into the Eye above.)
  • Wash your hands.
  • If the foreign object is under the upper lid, look down and pull the upper lid away from the eyeball by gently grabbing the eyelashes. Press a cotton-tipped swab down on the skin surface of the upper eyelid and pull it up and toward the brow. The upper lid will invert.
  • Twist a piece of tissue. Moisten the tip with tap water (not saliva). Gently try to touch the speck with the tip. Carefully pass the tissue over the speck which should cling to the tip.
  • Do not rub the eye or use tweezers or anything sharp to remove a foreign object.
  • Gently wash the eye with cool water.
  • For Dry, Irritated Eyes

    With your doctor's okay, use over-the-counter artificial tear drops, such as Ocu-Lube. Refrigerate the solution, if needed. Wash your hands before using.


    For an Insect Bite Without a Severe Allergic Reaction

  • Wash the eye(s) with warm water.
  • Take an antihistamine if okay with your doctor.
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    About The Author
    This article has been taken from Healthier at Home® – Your Complete Guide to Symptoms, Solutions & Self-Care, a book published by the American Institute for Preventive Medicine. To order this book and/or to learn more about the work of the Institute,......more
     
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    Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.