Eye Injury: What To Do?
The eye is a particularly fragile area that must be protected when doing certain DIY or gardening jobs. In the event of an accident involving this vulnerable organ, the seriousness of the injury must not be minimized. We explain what to do in case of eye injury.
How to prevent eye injuries?
The first rule to remember about eye injuries is very simple: it is better to be safe than sorry! To avoid trauma and the risk of serious complications to the eye, you must be especially careful during certain activities.
Do-it-yourself and gardening enthusiasts should remember to protect your eyes during work that involves splashing particles or chemicals. In particular, beware of milling, brush-cutting or lawn-mowing activities. Tiny particles thrown up during these activities can pass through the eye wall (either the cornea or the sclera).
Also be very careful when handling chemicals or aerosols. For each of these activities, it is essential to equip yourself with appropriate protective eyewear, or even a protective mask.
What to do in case of chemical burns to the eyes?
Any chemical splash is hazardous to the eyes. In the event of a detergent splash, for example, flush the eyes thoroughly with saline solution or cold water.
The eye should be rinsed for 15 to 30 minutes under cold water, running the water from the unaffected eye to the injured eye. In contrast, the injured eye should not be bandaged.
You should then go immediately to your ophthalmologist, an eye clinic or an emergency room. Chemical burns are a form of eye injury that should not be minimized, even when the injury appears superficial, because some products can cause significant damage to the deep layers of the eye.
Also note that it is important to identify the product responsible for the eye injury so that the doctors who care for you at the hospital or doctor's office can respond more quickly and effectively.
What to do if you get a foreign body in your eye?
As a general rule, eyelashes prevent any dust or foreign objects from entering the eyes and we instinctively close our eyelids to protect the eye. The eyebrows also have a protective function as they form a barrier to prevent liquids such as sweat from reaching the eye area.
If you feel a foreign body has entered your eye, start by rinsing thoroughly with saline or artificial tears. You can try to remove the foreign body if it is easily accessible (at the eyelid, for example), but you should not touch it if it appears to be stuck in the eye.
In any case, be sure to not rub your eyes and not touch the eye with your fingers, even if you feel itching or discomfort. It is best to blink your eyes in an attempt to expel the intruder naturally by producing tears.
If the discomfort persists, even after removing the foreign body, you should see an ophthalmologist within a day. If you feel sensitivity to light, protect your eyes with sunglasses but do not blindfold the injured eye.
The severity of this type of eye injury is often downplayed, especially when the pain is not too severe and is relieved by simple eye drops. Yet, you should know that an infection is sure to develop if the foreign body remains in your eye. Therefore, you should have it removed by a specialist without delay.
What to do in case of eye contusion?
The contusion to the eye can be recognized by the 'black eye' it causes. But it is not always the result of a fight. It can also be caused by an accident during a sporting activity, such as a tennis ball received in the eye.
In this case, the best reflex is to apply an ice water compress or cold pack to the eye to limit the swelling of the area. Apply cold for at least 15 minutes to relieve the pain associated with this eye injury.
If you notice that your vision is blurry, your eye is red, you have a bruise on your eyelids or a nosebleed, you should go to an ophthalmologist or emergency room right away.