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Common Eye Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Our eyes are one of the most sensitive areas of our body, so any injury to them can be cause for panic. From punctures to swelling, here are some of the most common eye injuries and how to avoid them:

1. Scratched Eye

A scratched eye may also be referred to as a corneal abrasion and can be caused by being poked in the eye or rubbing your eye when a foreign object is present. Scratched eyes are typically very uncomfortable, and may cause sensitivity to light and of redness your eye.

In extreme cases, a corneal abrasion that is left untreated can result in blindness. If you have a scratched eye, do not rub it; close or shield your eye, and seek medical attention.

If you have a foreign object lodged in your eye, you should visit the emergency room immediately.

2. Chemical Burns

When substances other than water enter our eyes, the result can be painful and scary. Some liquids can sting our eye but be harmless in the long run, while others can put you at risk for serious injury.

If you’ve been splashed in the eye by a chemical or harmful substance, put your head under a steady stream of water for about 15 minutes to flush your eyes. After, call or visit an emergency room to treat your injury and prevent further damage.

3. Eye Bleeding

Also known as a subconjunctival hemorrhage, a bleeding eye looks a lot worse than it actually is. In this case, broken blood vessels in the white of your eyes, known as the sclera, leak blood. Typically, no treatment is required, as there is usually no pain associated with eye-bleeding and it will resolve on its own in a few days or weeks.

4. Eye Swelling

Though it may be from allergies, swollen eyelids can also result from being struck in the eye. If your swelling is accompanied by a black eye, you should see a doctor ensure there is no internal damage. The best treatment for your swollen eye is to immediately apply an ice pack.

How to Prevent Eye Injuries

Most eye injuries are preventable, and by taking simple steps to protect yourself you can avoid any injuries:

  • Wear goggles when exposed to chemicals or during dangerous activities.

  • Do not touch your face after cleaning with chemicals.

  • Keep sharp tools away from children.

Recognizing a Medical Emergency

It may be hard to recognize when your eye pain is more than a nuisance, and when it may be a medical emergency. Here are a few common symptoms:

  • Difficulty seeing or opening your eye.

  • Blood in the white area of your eye.

  • Unusual pupil size.

  • Cuts or objects lodged in or on your eyelid.

What to do in Case of An Injury

If you injure your eye, seek medical attention immediately as soon as possible. Be sure to avoid touching your eye or trying to remove foreign objects on your own.

At Advance ER, our doctors and nurses are prepared to help with any medical emergency you may be experiencing.