Common Eye Injuries and How to Respond
You may think that eye injuries are rare, but consider that over 200,000 workers in the U.S. get eye injuries every day. Many of these are minor, but about one-third require emergency eye care. Most, however, can resume work after treatment, especially if they get the proper care.
Unfortunately, around 100 of these injuries require a few days off work. While these statistics can be encouraging, the critical factor was a quick intervention. This shows why every eye injury must be taken seriously for better chances of successful treatment.
Immediate intervention can ensure the preservation of your vision even after a significant incident. Some eye injuries are more common than others. Consider taking these first-aid steps to mitigate their damage.
Common Eye Injuries and the Response Necessary
Foreign Objects in the Eye
Foreign objects in the eye are among the most common eye injuries. Everyone has had, at one time, a foreign object enter their eye, especially small ones like dust or an eyelash. These much smaller and finer foreign objects cause no damage, and the eye naturally eliminates them through tears. However, larger ones are more serious.
Relatively Small Foreign Objects
For instance, a grain of sand can lead to corneal abrasions, resulting in painful symptoms. It is the same for small pieces of debris about the same size. These objects will usually cause more damage when you rub your eyes.
How to Respond
You may feel the urge to rub your eyes when you get a grain of sand in your eyes, but you mustn't rub them. Lift your eyelid, roll around your eye, and then flush it with water. Ensure that you keep your eyes open when rinsing them with water. Repeat the process until you successfully eliminate the object.
Larger Foreign Objects
Unfortunately, the damage is significantly more if you have a larger object embedded in the eye. These eye injuries are common in industrial workspaces, construction sites, and workshops.
How to Respond
If you have a large foreign object embedded in your eye, you mustn't try to remove it. The only recommended action is covering the eye with a gauze or shield and seeking medical attention immediately.
Another common group of eye injuries is caustic or chemical burns. These usually happen when chemicals splash in the eye. They fall under two main categories—alkali and acidic chemical burns. Acidic chemical burns are generally not dangerous as they can easily wash away. They only cause minor irritation that fades away with time and care. Alkali burns are much more hazardous and may even lead to vision loss.
How to Respond
When you have caustic burns, you must flush your eye with plenty of water for a few minutes. It is advisable to see a doctor immediately since caustic burns may take time to cause damage.
For more on common eye injuries and how to respond, visit Maple Eye and Laser Center at our office in White Plains or Manhattan, New York. Call (914) 948-5157 to book an appointment today.