Statistically, 80% of everything you’ve learned has been facilitated by your eyes when you were young. Your life as an adult is largely built around this accumulated learning.
Your eyes could very well be vital to connecting with the world. This fact becomes ironic if you consider how delicate and significantly vulnerable they are to injury. For example, around 1,000 eye injuries happen daily in workplaces; almost 60% are preventable by safety eyewear. Eye injuries make up many emergency room visits in American hospitals.
Some eye injuries are minor, while others are major and accompanied by risks of vision loss. Some eye injuries require immediate care to limit the damage.
First aid is a rapid-impulse response. In terms of the eyes, its essence is to preserve eye health and offer appropriate help. Immediate medical attention and safety actions are all that stand between safety and further injury. First aid is not a replacement for medical attention, but it is done to stall before the patient gets to a professional.
Severe eye injuries often lead to permanent eye damage, sometimes resulting in complete vision loss. With first aid, you can mitigate the damage and prevent the injury from worsening. With timely intervention, injuries like chemical burns can be managed effectively and minimize the risk of ocular damage.
Pain can occur even with a minor eye injury, like a small foreign object in the eye. First aid can help minimize pain by assisting the patient in eliminating foreign objects. Sometimes, eye injuries can cause light sensitivity, making looking at bright lights painful. First aid for such a situation may include covering the eye to limit the amount of light getting into the eye.
Some eye injuries involve puncturing the eye, which can expose the internal structures. In such a situation, bacteria can quickly enter the eye and cause infections that may compromise the eye's integrity. When untreated, the infection may lead to partial or complete vision loss.
These injuries usually occur when chemicals, like cleaning fluids or other industrial substances, splash into the eye. Acids generally hurt more, but alkali substances are more dangerous since they may cause long-term damage. The first aid for this type of injury is flushing the eyes with plenty of water for several minutes.
Foreign objects can range in size and impact on the eye. Small foreign objects can cause minor abrasions to the eye surface, especially if you rub your eyes. In contrast, large ones can cause more severe lacerations or puncture wounds.
You can help eliminate small objects by rolling your eyes with the eyelids lifted and then flushing with water. With larger objects, you must cover the eye and visit an eye doctor immediately.
For more on the importance of immediate care for eye injuries, visit 20/20 EyeVenue at our office in Westminster or Strasburg, Colorado. Call (720) 740-0400 to book an appointment today.