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Reacting to Eye Injuries

We’ve all experienced it – Debris whips into your eyes at the beach, cleaning solution splashes into your eye, your dog paws at your eye while playing, your child flings a toy across the room and hits you in the eye­­. When an unexpected and painful situation arises, be prepared to act fast. Here are four major types of eye injuries that can quickly turn into emergencies, and steps to follow to minimize the damage.

Foreign Solution: Cleaning your home, working on your car, or simply standing in the wrong place at the wrong time can expose your eyes to an unwanted splash of harmful chemicals.

  • Flush your eyes with a continuous stream of room temperature tap water for a few minutes.
  • If you are still suffering, you can gently place a cool compress on your lids.
  • Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day.
  • The chemical makeup of the substance is critical to determining your treatment. For example, acids (sharp odor, corrosive, sour tasting) cause severe pain and redness that sometimes make the eye look and feel worse than it truly is, whereas alkaline liquid is more detrimental to the eye – inflicting significant damage such as blindness – even though it causes less immediate discomfort. Be armed with the name of the substance, and inform your doctor or the emergency room staff so they can better treat your injury.

Foreign Body:

  • DO NOT try to remove anything that penetrates the eye (wood, fish hooks) – it may do more harm than good.
  • Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day. If you happen to be outside the area go immediately to the emergency room.
  • Place a shield over the eye for protection and to avoid further injury.
  • If you happen to get smaller slivers of metal in your eye, don’t downplay the injury. Some may not consider the need for medical attention, thinking small pieces will resolve on their own. That is a mistake: small slivers of metal will cause issues down the road such as scarring. They must be removed in a sterile environment by a professional.

Corneal Abrasion: Caused by something that scratches the surface of the eye­­. For example, you scratch your eye with a fingernail while removing a contact lens or aggressively rub your lid while there is sand present. Do not take this condition lightly. Sure signs of an abrasion are irritation and sensitivity to light.

  • Do not rub your eye. Bacteria may be present, and you want to avoid infection.
  • Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day.
  • Without treatment, you may develop complications from the infection and, in rare cases, blindness can result.

Blunt Trauma: If you are poked in the eye during a pickup game or an object is forcefully thrust into your eye, it may cause traumatic iritis. This requires immediate medical treatment – however, even with treatment there is a possibility of permanently decreased vision.

  • Do not wait for pain to decrease or to see how you feel after a few days. Call our office to schedule an appointment at 732-775-5566. Our doctors are on call 24 hours a day.
  • Traumatic Iritis occurs when the colored part of the eye is inflamed, torn, or bruised, causing sensitivity to the anterior structures of the eye. The iris will not expand and contract as usual to control the amount of light that enters through to the back of the eye. Depending how the condition progresses it may cause changes in pressure, which your doctor will monitor.

If you experience an eye emergency, our doctors are on call 24 hours a day at 732-774-5566. Even if you feel the injury may not be that serious, seek immediate attention so you can preserve your vision to enjoy the life you have!

Remember, protective eyewear prevents 90 percent of all eye injuries. Read about our complete line of protective eyewear here so you can protect your eyes while enjoying your active lifestyle.

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