How To Handle Common Eye Emergencies


In an instant, something can damage one or both eyes. If the injury isn't addressed promptly and properly, you risk losing all or part of your vision. Here is what to do to protect your vision should one of these common eye injuries occur.

1. Dirt and dust in the eye.

Your blink response normally protects your eyes from getting something in them. The tears constantly bathe the eyes and wash small particles from the surface. If something small in the eye continues to irritate it, do not rub your eye or you might cause the object to scratch the surface of the eye. Try one or more of the following to remove the object.

  • Blink several times quickly to wash the eye.
  • Use eye drops to bathe the eye with the solution.
  • Hold your eye open under a faucet or shower and allow the water to flow over the eye.

If the irritation is still there after these attempts to clean something off the eye, place a clean cloth over the eye and go to an emergency clinic for help.

2. Cuts and scratches on the eye.

A cut on the eye itself will heal normally as long as it doesn't get infected. If you suspect that you have a cut or scratch on the surface of the eye, see an emergency room for help.

  • Place a clean cloth over the eye.
  • If there is any drainage from the eye, do not remove the cloth once on the eye to reduce the risk of pulling on the surface of the eye.
  • Do not place any drops in the eye or rub your eye before you get to the emergency facility.

3. Blunt trauma to the eye and surrounding tissues.

If something hits your face and eyes, you may have fractures in the bones around the eye. If you notice any of the following symptoms, place a clean cloth over the eye and get to an emergency facility quickly.

  • bruising and swelling around the eye
  • broken skin and bleeding around the eye
  • pain when touching the area around the eye
  • your eye is swollen shut
  • your eye is protruding from the socket

4. Large object through the eye.

Accidents do happen where a large item pierces the eye, such as a nail. Sometimes the item passes by the eyeball, but not through it, and on into the skull. While this looks horrific, the damage could be minimal, as long as you don't allow the item to further damage the eye. Do not attempt to remove the object yourself or you could damage the eye more.

Do not attempt to drive yourself to get help. Contact 911 and request an emergency patient transport to the care center. The medical technicians who arrive will stabilize the object in your eye so it doesn't cause more damage while you are being taken to get help.

5. Chemicals in the eye.

If you splash a toxic drain cleaner or pesticide in your eye, the surface can be burned. Try flushing out the eye first, then get to an emergency care center for an examination. To flush out the eye:

  • Hold your eye open under a running shower for several minutes.
  • Tilt your head to one side and allow water from a faucet to flow over your eye for several minutes.
  • Tilt your head back and use an eye dropper and a glass of water to wash out the eye for several minutes.

Cover the eye with a clean cloth before heading to the emergency center. Contact a company like Advanced Egress Solutions for assistance.


7 June 2016

What Requires Emergency Care? Where Do You Go?

Hello! My name is Tully Reed. My husband and I have four children ages four, seven, nine, and twelve years old. Three of our children are boys, and we have one girl. As you might imagine, we have had our share of cuts, bruises, scrapes and falls. We've had fractures and concussions. We've had mishaps that have landed us in the doctor’s office, emergency room, and urgent care facility. My purpose for writing this is to share our experiences with emergency care. There have been times we ran a child to the doctor only to find out we needed to be at the hospital emergency room. We've not made use of our local urgent care facility when it may have been the best option. I hope that our experiences and lessons will be of help to you!