How To Manage Eye Emergencies: A Guide
Blindness is becoming a growing health concern across the world. In the US alone, the number of blind people is expected to go up to 76 million by 2020. This increase contact lenses and eye infections by an increase in the number of ocular emergencies that eye-clinics have to cater to (nearly 45% of all cases). Of these, nearly 30%-40% lead to Monocular blindness.
These numbers can be lowered if we knew more about how to manage eye-related medical emergencies. The way that things are going, it makes sense to learn as much as we can about ocular emergency management to potentially save someone from going blind from ocular trauma.
A Standard Response to Ocular Emergencies
Ocular trauma management begins with making sure that you take all the necessary precautions if you’re engaging in exercises that present a potential threat to your eye. The precautions include:
· Always wear eye protection for any activities, whether at home or school, that could damage your eyes.
· Always keep your first aid kit with an eye shield and with a commercial eye cleaner.
· Always see a doctor immediately in case you suffer ocular trauma.
Chemical injuries occur when a potentially harmful substance goes into your eye. The first aid response to such a situation is:
· Hold your eye under water for at least 15-20 minutes, which significantly reduces the risk of long term damage. Make sure you flood your eye thoroughly to flush out the chemicals.
· Remove contact lenses immediately.
· Remember that pain is not a direct determinant of the severity of the injury.
· Powder chemicals are much more difficult to flush out than liquids and should be rinsed out for longer periods of time.
· Visit a doctor immediately after.
Foreign Objects In The Eye
If you feel that something’s gone into your eye, the National CPR Foundation has recommended the following first aid procedure:
· Pull the lower eyelid further down and ask the patient to fully open their eye.
· Ask them to look up and in the opposite direction to get a clear view of their eyes to locate the speck.
· Wash out their eyes with water or saline solution and never try to use your hands or some utensil to pull it out.
· If the irritation is consistent, then visit a doctor immediately.
Direct Trauma To The Eye
This can include bruises to the eye or direct cuts to the eyelid or the eye itself.
If you get a bruise, you should:
· Apply a heat or an ice pack to the eye immediately.
· If the eye bleeds or if your see bleeding in the eye, visit the nearest emergency room as soon as possible.
If your eye or eyelid has been cut, then you should:
· Do not wash the eye or potentially irritate the wound.
· Cover the lower half of the eye with a cup or with a rigid shield without placing any pressure.
· Visit the ER immediately.
At Dr. Gilberg & Associates, we’ve been serving the North Miami area with top quality emergency eye care miami for the last ten years. We pride ourselves on providing state-of-the-art services and affordable medical treatment including contact lens examinations and digital eye exams to patients for a variety of eye-related problem. Learn more about our services here.