It is essential to seek emergency medical attention for any eye injuries as quickly as possible. If possible, the injured individual should be taken immediately to an emergency treatment center in Grand Rapids or, if the patient is already working with an ophthalmologist, contact that professional when there is an eye injury that is not an emergency health situation.
The most common issues or eye injury causes include cuts and scratches on the eyes, foreign objects in the eye, chemical burns to the eye or trauma to the eye. Anytime there is any object in the eye, including glass or metal shards, or if there is bleeding from the eye seek immediate emergency medical attention.
Things Not to Do
If you have an eye injury at any time, it is important not to rub the eye or eyes with anything. This can cause scratches on the surface of the eye if there are dust and debris in the eyes. With larger particles or objects in the eye, any movement of the eye or the eyelid can cause the objects to penetrate further.
Do not attempt to remove visible foreign objects from the eye as this can damage the soft tissues in the eye and increase the risk of bleeding from the eye. Never put any drops, eye creams or other types of medications in the eye before emergency treatment unless advised by a doctor.
Do not attempt to drive yourself to the hospital if you have an eye injury. Instead, call an ambulance or have someone else drive you to avoid a possible accident due to vision impairment.
Things to Do
With any significant eye injury where there is a pain, problems with vision, bleeding, large objects or material in the eye or if the eye has been exposed to chemicals, call 911 immediately. Also, for specific types of eye injury emergencies the following is important:
* Chemicals – flush the eye out with as much fresh water as possible. Keep running water over the eye for at least 15 minutes and leave the eye uncovered to get to treatment.
* Trauma – apply a cold cloth, either cold fresh water or ice wrapped in a soft cloth to the eye but not to apply pressure.
* Objects in the eye – for small objects flush with water, and for large objects keep the eye still, and place padding on either side of the object to stabilize it and prevent further movement. Do not remove the object or bump it in any way as this can work the object deeper and cause further damage.
If you, or a child, experiences any non-traumatic or non-emergency eye injury it is still a good idea to call your Grand Rapids ophthalmologist if you experience any irritation, itching, redness or tearing that lasts more than a few minutes.
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