The eyes are among the most critical organs in the body and the most influential of the five senses. While they are important, their vulnerability to damage, injury, and infection is just as high. They are also susceptible to foreign objects or injuries and can sustain lasting damage without treatment. An eye emergency is an injury that puts you at risk of losing your vision.
There are several common eye emergencies, and they all cause unique damage. However, they usually cause some of the following symptoms:
Stinging or burning
Eyes moving independently of each other
Differently sized pupils
Bulging or sticking out eye
Sensitivity to light
Irritation and redness
Bleeding from the eye
Bruising around the eye
Discharge from the eye
Blood in the sclera
Severe or new headaches
If you experience any of these signs or symptoms or have swelling in the eye, you should contact an eye doctor immediately.
If you get poked by something sharp or hit in the eye, you may sustain a scratch or abrasion on the cornea. You may have tearing, pain, or a gritty feeling, like sand in the eye, a few hours after the incident.
If you get such an injury, wash your eye with saline water and try to blink away the gritty feeling. If it does not and the symptoms persist, visit a doctor for treatment, especially if the scratch is more severe.
Caustic or Chemical Burns
When you have chemicals splash in your eye, like cleaning detergents, gardening chemicals, or industrial substances, you could be in danger of vision loss. There are two main types of chemical burns—acidic and alkaline chemical splashes.
Acidic splashes usually feel worse but will wash away under plenty of water. Alkaline chemicals are more dangerous even though they do not irritate that much. It is because they do not wash away as fast underwater, allowing them to do more damage that can lead to vision loss.
Small objects like grains of sand or eyelashes or dust can cause minor irritation and make your eyes very uncomfortable. While small, they can scratch your cornea if you rub the eye, leaving corneal abrasions. But if you blink and let your tears flow, they will naturally remove the object.
Larger objects in the eye can lead to more significant damage and usually require medical attention to remove. Large objects in the eye are categorized as a medical emergency—you should not attempt to remove the object on your own. You should avoid moving your eye while waiting for treatment to mitigate the damage.
You can get a sharp object that perforates the eye surface and causes bleeding in the eye or discharge. These severe injuries usually require immediate attention and sometimes vision loss, even with immediate attention.
Use protective goggles
Follow safety instructions in the workplace
Be careful when working with flying debris
For more on the signs of an eye emergency, visit Eye Vantage at our office in Katy, Texas. Call (281) 771-1323 to book an appointment today.