Eye injuries can range from relatively trivial, such as irritating the eye with shampoo, to extremely serious, resulting in permanent loss of vision.
An eye injury can occur in many settings; in the home, at work or when playing sports.
Common causes of injury include:
- something like a small particle of grit or a twig damages the transparent front part of the eye known as the cornea – this type of injury is known as a corneal abrasion
- a foreign body such as a small piece of wood or metal gets stuck in the eye
- a sudden blow to the eye, from a fist or a cricket ball for example, causes the middle section of the eye (the uvea) to become swollen – this type of injury is known as traumatic uveitis
Less common and more serious types of this injury include:
- exposure to harmful chemicals – this is known as an ocular chemical burn
- the eye becomes cut and starts bleeding
First aid Treatment
If something has stuck to the eye or is embedded, like a piece of glass, it is not a first aid task to remove the object. The aim in this case is to prevent the condition from getting worse by keeping the eye as still as possible, and giving the casualty plenty of reassurance.
- Do not touch the embedded object
- Cover the eye with a sterile eye pad, taking care not to put pressure on the eye. Eye pads are marked as such in the first aid kit. They are cupped so as not to press directly on the eye.
- Bandage the eye carefully and arrange for the casualty to go to hospital. If you are in any doubt about aggravating the injury, call for an ambulance
- If the object is large, such as a dart, support the object in the position found and call for an ambulance. Keeping the persons head as still as possible. Never remove anything that is embedded
Corrosive or Poisonous Substances that are Embedded
The treatment for chemical or poisonous splashes in the eye is similar to the treatment of burns. If the eye is not irrigated as soon as possible, permanent damage can be done to the eye.
Wear gloves if available
- Keep the affected eye under running water for a minimum of 10 minutes.
- Be prepared to use a gentle but firm approach to the eye. The pain may cause it to close tight.
- Close and cover the eye with an eye pad and arrange transport to hospital.
GK First Aid Training offer a number of First Aid Courses that deal with an eye injury. We offer both the 1 Day Emergency First Aid at Work and the 3 Day First Aid at Work Course. Both of these courses can be delivered directly to you in your workplace. Call us directly on 0800 774 7034 to discuss your requirements.