What To Do In An Eye Emergency

What To Do In An Eye Emergency

Preventing vision loss is a main priority when dealing with an eye emergency. Eye emergencies, whether dealing with a foreign object, an injury, or chemical exposure, are frightening.

The good news is there are important steps you can take to help care for your vision in any eye emergency. Let’s explore these steps so you can feel confident knowing how to love your eyes in emergencies.

Foreign Object in the Eye

If you’ve ever had an eyelash, dust, or other small particle in your eye, you know it’s annoying and sometimes painful. If left untreated, it can cause damage to your vision. What to do if you have a foreign object in your eye:

  • Do not rub your eyes–rubbing can cause further damage and prevent the object from falling out.
  • Quickly blink–blinking can help trigger your tear ducts and loosen the object from your eye.
  • Gently rinse–gently rinsing your eye with filtered water or a sanitized solution will help. Make sure the cup you use is also clean. 

If the object is still in your eye after following these steps, go to the nearest urgent care, emergency room, or eye doctor. They are trained to remove the object without harming your vision.

Chemical Exposure 

Chemical eye injuries can happen at home, at work, during a sporting event, or fun activity. Chemicals can burn your eye, damage the cornea, and cause blindness. Immediate action can prevent further injury and save your eyesight.

  • Don’t bandage your eye. 
  • Flush your right with lukewarm water immediately. Use clean, sanitized water and wash for at least 15 minutes. Use an available eye wash station if you’re at work.
  • Remove your contact lenses if you’re wearing them. However, don’t spend too much time searching for them. The priority is to ensure your eye is free from chemicals. Flushing can also help remove the lens.
  • To flush your eye, hold it open and rotate as you’re rinsing. Doing so will help complete the cleaning.

Once you follow these steps and your eye is as clear as possible, head to your emergency room or contact emergency services if you can’t drive. With chemical exposure, further evaluation and treatment are crucial for your eye health. 

Eye Injury

You can experience any eye injury, and it’s important to know how to treat it and protect your eyesight. Eye injuries can range from mild swelling to severe damage. Some common eye injuries include black eyes, bleeding, corneal abrasion, or burns. 

You may notice flashes of light or vision changes as your eyesight returns to normal. If you experience an eye injury, you should:

  • Avoid applying heavy pressure or touching your eye
  • If you have a minor injury, gently place a cold compress on your eye to reduce swelling.
  • Use a protective shield over your eye, like a clean cup, to protect against more damage.

Contact your nearest medical center or emergency services for treatment. Even if your eye feels better, it’s important to have a doctor assess your injuries and prescribe the necessary treatment. 

Consider any eye emergency a serious situation. Immediate action and medical treatment can reduce damage to your eye and protect your vision. Avoid rubbing your eye because that can increase damage.

While following these steps in an emergency can help protect your vision, seeing your eye doctor is still important.

Schedule An Appointment Today for Eye Emergency

Dr. Leo understands the importance of acting quickly during an eye emergency. He works with many patients and shares the importance of holistic health care, including eye health. Our office provides a wide range of integrative health services. Contact us for an appointment today.  

We are located in the Executive office park at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852.

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Dr. L. J. Leo

Dr. Leo began his education at the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Blacksburg, Virginia, where he earned his doctorate in osteopathy. He completed his internal medicine residency through the U.S. Army and had the honor of serving multiple overseas tours before retirement.

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