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Health > First Aid >Eye Injuries

Eye Injuries

Eyes are robust, but also delicate, organs. They can sustain quite severe damage, and, with the proper treatment, recover to their former state. In some instances, though, they can suffer what would be considered to be a minor injury, and be permanently damaged.

Minor Eye Injuries:

These are injuries where the eye has been struck by a foreign object, or has a small object adhering to its surface, causing irritation. They are characterised by a bloodshot eye, irritation, and an urge to rub the eye.

Care and Treatment:

* Use clean, sterilised water to bathe the eye and wash the object out.v

* If this fails, touch the corner of a clean cloth to the object and lift it off the surface.

* Seek medical aid if vision is affected.

* Cover the affected eye if appropriate.

* Avoid ''pushing'' the object around the eye''s surface .

Major Eye Injuries:

These are injuries that involve the penetration of the the eye by a foreign body, or involve severe blunt trauma to the eye. These are characterised by blood in the eye, penetrating objects, disturbance of vision, protrusion of eye contents, and severe pain and spasms. Casualty care in this case is critical, and should be left to the experts. In the meantime:

* Make the casualty lie down and rest.

* Call for medical assistance.

* Cover the affected eye with a clean bandage or similar.

* Reassure the patient.

* Eye-drops are not to be used under any circumstances.

In the case of ''Welder's Flash'' (the result of staring or inadvertently looking at the intense light caused during metal welding, while not wearing the correct eye protection), the damage caused to the eye''s cornea by exposure to this intense light can be painful and, in some cases, permanent. Care must be taken to supervise children if welding is being conducted near them, and they should be kept away from the location.

Care and Treatment:

* Apply cool compresses and cover the eyes with pads.

* Urgent medical attention should be sought if pain or ''spots'' persist.

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