First Aid For Eye Injuries
Eye injuries, the mere thought of having something injure your eye is enough to induce nightmares but what do you do to First Aid an eye injury?
Something about the concept of being conscious and watching an object pierce the eyes instantly makes a person squeamish. It does happen more often you might believe. That leads us to the present with one simple question. What are the latest First Aid treatments and protocols for an eye injury, and have they changed in the years since I last gained my First Aid qualifications?
What Can You Do For An Injured Eye
There are several eye injuries the eyeball can receive unexpectedly that all require First Aid treatment. You might not think of it as First Aid, but the act of removing the loose foreign body or treating the injury is called First Aid treatment. If you are not currently First Aid certified, you might seriously consider taking an accredited, nationally recognised First Aid course with a registered training provider.
What Are Corneal Abrasions
Some of the most common eye injuries to the eye’s surface, called the cornea, are called corneal abrasions. Corneal abrasions are where a particle enters the eye, and you instinctively rub it causing the particle to scratch the surface of the eyeball. This type of injury is quickly fixed by flushing the eye with water. However, if the surface was scratched deeply, despite the cause no longer being in the eye, it will still feel like it is creating an irritation that makes you want to rub it more. Don’t! Deep scratching may require antibiotics produced especially for the eye, so making an appointment with your GP would be beneficial.
Another surprisingly common cause of eye injury is a paper cut. Who would have thought it but paper fights back when challenged by an eyeball. This specific type of injury is common in students and office workers who are seated at a desk and someone standing extends paper documents towards them that unintentionally enter the eye and slice the cornea. Typically this is a minor cut that is self healing, but in some cases may require antibiotic eye cream to prevent infection.
Finger Poke In The Eye
There is always a finger poking an eyeball or an injury related to suddenly turning into a sharp or protruding object at eye height while playing or out walking in the woods. This type of injury can cause pressure related swelling or ruptures, can cause the eyeball to eject from the socket, or pierce the eyeball while in the socket.
And lastly, we have the top two contenders, the big boys of the eye injury world. An eyeball that is removed from the socket to hang externally from the eye socket, and a foreign body embedded in the eyeball.
Protruding Object: How Do I Apply First Aid
Cover the injured eye with a clean eye pad or wound dressing. If a large foreign body is lodged in the eye, DO NOT attempt to remove it, but pad around the eye socket to avoid pressure by making a donut ring out of supplies that fit over the protrusion and then place the pad on top.
If possible, advise the patient to keep the uninjured eye closed to reduce the risk of movement of the injured eye. If the injured eye can be safely covered without affecting the protruding object, cover the injured eye and get to a hospital ASAP.
What If The Eyeball Is Out Of The Socket
What do you do if the eyeball pops out of the socket? Not the kind of thing most people want to think about, but it happens more frequently than you might imagine, often as the result of, not surprisingly, a finger poking or gouging out the eyeball as in self-defence situations.
An eye-popping out of the socket will still be attached to the optic nerve, so it won’t pop out and hit the floor as cartoons suggest. An eyeball exiting the eye socket is considered a medical emergency, and an ambulance should be called by dialling 000 or driving them to the nearest emergency room.
Do not attempt to force the eyeball back in place. Putting the eyeball back into the socket without taking the correct measures to ensure the area is free of debris and sterile can lead to further complications. An ophthalmologist or clinical surgeon is required to correctly replace the eyeball and ensure no damage to the retina has occurred and that the eyeball is correctly positioned after reinsertion.
Follow-up eye care instructions will be given to you, and a period of recovery with the eye covered will also be required.
First Aid Management With First Aid Training
Now is the perfect time to undertake a new course, and what better path to take than a nationally recognised, fully accredited First Aid course with a registered training organisation. First Aid skills come in handy every day of your life in the most unexpected places. When you have the knowledge, you use it without thinking about what you are doing because you know it is the right treatment for the situation. That level of confidence inspires others around you who will look to you in a crisis. Make sure you are fully prepared with up-to-date skills and the latest medical practices and techniques.