Posted on 09-30-2016
What to Do if You Suffer an Eye Injury: Tips From a Houston Optometrist
Your sight is the most important of your five senses. It is the sense that you rely on most. Therefore, you need to protect it from potential injuries at all costs. Unfortunately, accidents will happen from time to time. If you injure your eye, it is important to know the proper treatment because the faster you act, the less chance that your vision will be permanently damaged.
Here are some injuries that commonly occur and the steps you should take to treat them if they happen to you:
- Foreign or Penetrating Objects - If an object such as a fish hook or other piece of metal penetrates your eye, you need to go to an emergency room or eye care professional immediately. Rubbing or trying to take the object out yourself could cause even greater damage, so let the professionals handle it.
It is possible that tiny pieces of metal dust could become embedded in the eye's outer surface. If left untreated for too long, the pieces of dust could begin to form a rust ring. This can eventually develop into a major scar. This is why immediate medical treatment is called for.
- Corneal Abrasion - Rubbing or getting poked while sand, dust or other foreign bodies are present are common causes of corneal abrasions. These are very painful and generally result in extreme sensitivity to light and redness.
Once again, this type of injury calls for immediate treatment in by an eye care professional. Scratches can make you more susceptible to infection from a fungus or bacteria. It can take only 24 hours for certain types of fungi or bacteria to do major damage after they enter your body through a scratch.
- Caustic Foreign Substance (chemical burn) - It is common for people to get sprayed or splashed with different substances. Acids can cause a burning or redness, but they are easy to wash out. Chemicals that are alkali can be much more serious. Many people are fooled into thinking that they are not serious because they do not produce the immediate redness or discomfort that acids do.
If you are ever splashed with one of these substances, run some warm water over your face for 15 minutes. Call your doctor or emergency room to see what their recommended treatment is for the particular chemical involved. If your vision is blurry, go to the emergency room immediately.
- Traumatic Iritis - This is an inflammation of the area that surrounds the pupil. This occurs after the area has been injured. It is generally caused by being hit by an object or getting poked. This condition requires medical treatment. Even if treated quickly, people can suffer permanent damage to their vision.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhages (bleeding) - This often looks much worse than it actually is. It can occur when the pressure at the front of the eye is abruptly changed. Vigorous exercise, bending over, and even sneezing can cause such rapid changes in pressure. As a result, one of the small blood vessels at the front of the eye can burst, leaving an area of pooled blood in the outer white layer of tissue called the sclera. It is often painless and does not cause vision loss that is permanent or temporary. There will be redness, but you will return to normal again in a few weeks.
If you have any further questions about how to treat a specific eye injury, contact your Houston optometrist today!