Eye accidents can happen anytime. Even when you’re in the comfort of your own home, going about mundane daily activities like cooking dinner or mowing the lawn, your eyes are at risk if you don’t take the right eye care precautions.
Today, Progressive Eyecare shares key things you need to know about eye injuries.
Common Causes of Trauma to the Eyes
Did you know that around one million people every year suffer from an eye injury? Eye injuries can happen for a number of reasons, and knowing the most common causes of them can help you avoid an accident. Here are some of them:
Small, Foreign Objects Trapped in the Eye
More commonly referred to as eye scratches, corneal abrasions usually happen when you rub your eyes while a foreign body, like sand or dust, is present. This can happen when you’re doing wood work, watching fireworks or simply sweeping the house.
Eye scratches can cause pain, difficulty blinking and even light sensitivity. They can also put you at risk of bacterial or fungal infections. We suggest you visit your optometrist when the discomfort becomes intolerable or you have a hard time seeing.
A Direct Blow to Your Eyes
Being hit by a fast ball or getting punched in the eyes can cause your eyelids to become sore, red and puffy. The affected area will likely develop bruising, otherwise known as black eye, within the next day. Make sure to have the injury examined by an optometrist to rule out internal bleeding or other damage.
Chemical Splashes or Oil Splatters Into Your Eyes
Liquid that splashes into your eyes can potentially be threatening to your eye health. Chemical substances can cause a burning or stinging sensation. If something other than plain water splashes into your eyes, try flushing it out either by producing tears, applying eye drops or putting your head under a steady stream of tap water. Always wear safety eyeglasses when working with hazardous chemicals.
A Sharp Object Penetrating Your Eyes
Accidents can happen when you’re around sharp objects. If a sharp object penetrates your eye, do not attempt to remove the object by yourself. Instead, put a paper cup or eye shield over the affected eye. Then, call your eye doctor immediately.
Recognizing an Eye Injury
It’s not always easy to tell if your eyes were actually injured or how serious the damage is. If you’ve sustained an eye injury, you may experience continuous pain, eye bleeding and difficulty blinking. You may also have a hard time seeing even with your eyeglasses, and your eyes may not be able to move as easily. An unusual pupil size (too large or too small) can also occur. If you notice any of these signs or symptoms, it’s best to undergo a comprehensive eye exams as soon as possible.
First Aid Treatment for Eye Injuries
Any form of eye injury must be treated by an eye care specialist as soon as possible. While on the way to the clinic or hospital, there are a few things you may be able to do to prevent the injury from worsening. If your eyes get exposed to chemicals or other harmful substances, do not rub your eyes. Instead, immediately flush your eyes with lots of water.
If you have suffered a blow to your eyes, apply a cold compress. Do not use cold cuts or other frozen food as they may contain microorganisms could cause an infection. Avoid putting too much pressure on your eyes so as not to aggravate the injury. Your eye doctor may also suggest taking pain relievers.
If a small particle is trapped in your eye, try pulling down the upper eyelid then blinking repeatedly. Doing so can help dislodge the foreign object. If it’s still there, try crying, washing it out with eye drops or flushing it under a stream of water. Afterward, go to your eye clinic for an eye exam.
Preventing Eye Injuries
Prevention is worth a pound of cure–cliché, but true. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that approximately 90% of all reported cases of eye trauma were preventable. How, you might ask? By simply wearing protective eyewear.
Whether you’re at work, school or home, never take your eye safety for granted. Any time you’re performing a task or activity that poses a potential threat to your eyes’ safety, wear protective eyewear. These activities include handling hazardous substances, dealing with flying debris or other small particles, and being exposed to objects that may fly across the room.
And when choosing protective eyeglasses, look for a pair with a label that says “ANSI Z87.1.” This means that the product meets the safety standards established by the American National Standards Institute, which indicates your eyes will be well protected.
Eye protection doesn’t stop there. You should also see to it to have your eyes examined by your eye doctor regularly. This way, we can check your eyes for any existing or potential problems. The sooner we detect and manage underlying issues, the better your eye health will be.
If you wear contact lenses or eyeglasses, we can also evaluate whether you need to have your lens prescription changed. We can also upgrade your lenses to polycarbonate as this material can withstand high impact. We may suggest frames that offer better eye protection too.
To learn more about eye injuries, complete our form to request an appointment. We serve patients in Summerlin, Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Southwest Las Vegas and the surrounding areas.