Most people suffer from eye problems or injuries at least once in their life. Usually the issue is a minor one and a simple over-the-counter remedy provides a cure. Occasionally, however, eye problems are more serious and require treatment from a doctor at the urgency room. Here is a quick guide to the most common eye injuries – and how to treat them.
A black eye is usually caused by some kind of impact injury, whether you walked into a door or were struck in the face with a soccer ball. The ‘black’ refers to bruising around the eye socket, which may look unsightly but is not necessarily serious.
If you are hit in the eye, prompt application of an ice pack should reduce any swelling and minimize the bruising. However, if there is significant swelling, it is wise to have it checked out by a doctor to make sure there is no traumatic damage to the internal structure of the eye.
Grit in the Eye
Sand and grit in the eye is annoying and painful, but rarely very serious. Usually, when you get something in your eye it waters like mad, which serves to flush out any grit or sand. If this does not work, use an eye bath or immerse your eye in tepid water until the debris washes out. If you still have no joy, have your eye checked out by a doctor.
If you have even been poked in the eye, you will know just how painful this can be. In the event of a freak accident, whereby a foreign object becomes lodged in the eye, it requires immediate medical attention. Do not rinse the eye out with water and do not rub it. Using a clean cloth or paper cup, cover the eye to protect it until you can get to the emergency room.
Foreign bodies can cause significant damage, especially if you try to remove the object yourself. Small splinters of glass or metal embedded in the cornea need to be removed as quickly as possible, so do not delay – head to the ER as fast as you can.
Accidentally splashing shampoo in the eye is no fun, but a prolonged session of washing the affected eye out with clean water usually does the trick. Splashing acidic or alkaline chemicals such as bleach or oven cleaner can easily cause serious damage to the eye, so wash the eye out with tepid water for at least 15 minutes and then seek medical attention, making sure to tell the doctor what type of substance you were exposed to. At best you will end up with a sore, red eye for a few days, but at worst you could lose your sight in the affected eye.
Most minor eye injuries require minimal medical attention and can often be treated at home. However, if you are in a lot of pain, always seek medical attention, as even minor eye injuries can lead to permanent sight damage if left untreated.