Some severe eye injuries, like deep puncture wounds from accidents, need to be treated or operated upon immediately to prevent permanent eye damage that could lead to vision loss. However, common and minor eye injuries and surface scratches in the eye only need simple monitoring after a visit to the eye doctor to ensure that complications like eye infections do not occur.
5 Common Eye Injuries & Its Treatment
Some common eye injuries & its treatment are:
- Blow to the Eye Resulting in Eye Injury- A strike or blow to the eye with a hard object like a rock, fist or baseball, can damage the eye, eyelid, and bones or muscles surrounding the eye. One may get a swollen eyelid or black eye if the injury is mild. Treatment for such type of eye injury is applying a cold compress to bring relief. However, no pressure should be put on the eye. OTC medications like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can be taken for reducing the pain in the eye (3). More severe eye injuries can lead to bleeding or bruising inside the eye and cause a change in vision or even vision loss (1). In such a case, the sufferer is advised to contact the doctor right away. If the blow to the eye is hard enough, it can break the bones around the eye, and even the eye muscles can get trapped inside the fractured bone. Treating this form of eye injury would require a surgery to free the trapped muscle in case of such an eye injury.
- Eye Injury in the Form of Corneal Abrasion- Corneal abrasion is one of the common eye injuries. A finger, stick or any other object can accidentally poke or get into the eye and scratch the cornea, which is the clear dome-shaped covering the iris and pupil in the eye. This type of eye injury is known as corneal abrasion and is quite common. The symptoms of corneal abrasion are redness and pain in the eye, blurred vision, excess tears and increased light sensitivity. While small scratches on the eye or mild corneal abrasions usually heal on their own in a week or two; deeper eye injuries can lead to vision problems and thus need to be treated promptly (2). When the eye gets scratched, the sufferer’s upper eyelid should be pulled down on their lower eyelid, and the individual should then blink their eye repeatedly. The eye should never be rubbed when suffering from eye injuries.
- An Object in the Eye Causing Eye Injury- The presence of foreign body in the eye is another common eye injury. Sharp objects like wood chips, grains of sand, slivers of glass, or metal shavings can get into the eye and scratch or cut the cornea. Having something in their eye can make an individual feel uncomfortable and make their eye water. If the foreign object is still there, the eye should be rinsed with eyewash. If the rinsing does not help, the individual should close their eye, lightly bandage it, and promptly consult a doctor. They should avoid rubbing their eyes. It is always advisable to wear protective eye gears when working with sharp objects.
- Chemical Burns to the Eyes- When shampoo, soap, or make-up gets into the eyes, they cause a bit of burning. Rinsing the eyes with water can help to relieve the burning sensation. But, certain other chemicals like alkalis, such as fertilizers and drain or oven cleaners are hazardous and can cause serious burns inside the eye. They rapidly attack the tissues of the eye and cause severe eye damage and even blindness. Acids, like swimming pool chemicals and bleach can also cause eye injury, but they are not as harmful as alkalis. Vapours from chemicals can trigger irritation in the eyes. The degree of damage in the eye depends on the kind of chemical, the duration for which it was in the eye, and how deep it went inside. The best way of treating this type of eye injury, which is chemical eye burn is to wash the eye with cool water for about 15 minutes, and then look for medical assistance (4). The eyes should neither be rubbed nor bandaged in such circumstances.
- Radiation Causing Eye Injury- The ultraviolet or UV rays of the sun can burn the eyes like they burn the skin. Some symptoms of excessive UV radiation exposure are redness of the eyes, increased light sensitivity, tearing and a feeling like something is stuck in the eyes. In the long term, too much of exposure to the sun and other forms of radiation can increase a person’s risk for cataracts or macular degeneration (5). So, to prevent these eye problems, it is best to wear sunglasses when going out. Also using eye drops can help to soothe the burning in the eyes.