An eye emergency occurs any time a foreign object or chemical enters your eye, or when an injury or burn affects your eye area. No matter how severe, it is important to take the right steps to treat an eye injury to prevent temporary or permanent vision loss. This Eye Injury Prevention Month, know the symptoms of eye injuries and how to prevent them.
Causes and Symptoms of Eye Injuries
The leading causes of eye emergencies typically include exposure to chemicals like cleaning supplies in the home, lack of protective eyewear in the workplace, or sports activities. Injuries like black eyes, cuts, or scratches can also cause severe damage to the eye.
Eye injury symptoms can range from eye pain to loss of vision in extreme cases. Moderate symptoms may include sensitivity to light, double vision, burning sensation, or severe itching. More severe symptoms consist of bleeding in or around the eye, headaches, or discharge from the eye.
No matter the severity of your symptoms, you should seek medical attention if experiencing eye pain, swelling, redness, or bleeding. Without proper treatment, ocular damage can lead to partial vision loss that requires surgery or even permanent blindness.
Tips for Handling Different Eye Injuries
If your eye has been injured, there are a few appropriate steps to take to manage pain and ensure the protection of your vision. The most important step to decreasing your chances of developing permanent eye damage is to visit an eye doctor or emergency room immediately.
While there are many ways to manage your pain and monitor your eye injury at home, you should never attempt to treat your eye injury yourself. Refrain from putting pressure on your injured eye or removing foreign objects on your own.
Common tools like cotton pads or tweezers should never be used to treat your eye injury at home. Refrain from using ointments or medication in your eye before seeking the advice of your ophthalmologist. This could worsen your symptoms and result in permanent damage.
Unless you are experiencing a chemical injury, do not remove contact lenses from your eye if you suspect an eye injury. This could also result in further damage and heightened symptoms. Contact lenses should only be removed if chemicals need to be flushed from your eyes immediately.
Eye Injury Prevention Tips
While eye injuries are never planned on, there are a few ways to avoid them in high-risk situations. Wearing protective eyewear when performing actions that pose risks for your eyes, like interacting with chemicals or using power tools, can help you avoid serious eye injuries.
Invest in safety glasses or goggles to protect your eyes from workplace hazards like flying particles, harmful chemicals, or vapors. Protective eyewear is also recommended for protection from physical contact during sports activities.
You should always follow directions when working with cleaning supplies or other chemical solutions. Consider childproofing your home to shelter any objects that are known to cause eye injuries, and visit your eye doctor regularly to maintain your eye health. If you or someone you know is suffering from an eye injury, visit your eye doctor immediately. Eye emergencies require professional treatment and instruction to avoid worsened symptoms or permanent vision loss. Schedule an appointment with Florida Eye Specialists today to receive personalized vision care from a team of doctors you can trust.