The eye is a delicate organ of the body. An injury to it can be a serious event and dramatic change a persons lifestyle. An eye emergency can be any cut, scratch or object getting into the eye. Common causes of eye injuries include blunt trauma injuries, chemicals and burns. Eye infections can also be considered emergencies that require immediate attention. These may include glaucoma or blood clots to the eye. The delicate nature of the eye makes all these conditions, injuries and infections a potential cause of permanent or temporary sight loss.
It’s never a bad idea to seek immediate medical attention with any eye emergency regardless of the cause of the injury or infection. Some of the cases could seem small at the onset but may develop into more complicated cases.
The material posted on this page on recognizing and managing eye emergencies is for learning purposes only. If you want to learn to recognize and manage severe eye emergencies including embedded objects and chemical burns sign up for first aid training with one of our Canadian providers.
Causes of Eye Emergencies
The most common injury to the eye is referred to as a black eye. This condition is normally as a result of a trauma to the area around the eye or the eye itself. This causes a bleeding under the skin hence the change in pigment, otherwise referred to as black eye.
There are cases when one gets a fractured skull or severe head trauma that also causes bruising to the regions around the eye. This can occur even without any impact occurring to the eye.
Work related accidents that involve chemicals are a common cause of the eye emergencies that are reported by medical professionals. The chemical burns to the eye can also be caused by some of the household product that we use in our homes.
Symptoms of eye emergencies.
There are different kinds of eye emergencies. Different eye emergencies have different symptoms. However there are common symptoms that can be used to determine any given eye emergency. One should ensure that they get their eyes checked regularly since some of the symptoms will indicate the need for immediate attention. Here are some of the known and common symptoms:
- loss of vision
- burning sensation
- eye pain
- decreased vision
- redness and irritation
- sensitivity to light
- bruising around the eye
- discharge from the eye
- itching eyes
What Not To Do
To stay on the safe side with the eye emergencies, there are a number of measures that should not be taken as they only aggravate the situation with the eye and may lead to more complications. Self treatment is not advised with the eye emergencies. One will get immense urge to rub, scratch or apply some pressure to the eye. This is highly discouraged. Do not attempt to remove the items that may be lodged in the eye, especially through the use of tweezers or cotton swabs. One should also not put ointments in the eye in a case of an eye emergency. If one eye is affected with an embedded object do not just secure the affected eye. It is advisable to close both eyes to prevent any movement of the eyes.