First Aid Tips for Possible Eye Injuries
First Aid for specks or foreign particles in the eye
• Do not rub, or try to remove the irritant from your eye, as you may end up scratching the cornea.
• Do not use sharp objects like tweezers.
• If the particle is embedded in the eye, definitely don’t try to remove it yourself. Get medical help immediately.
• Use a damp cotton swab to gently lift any particle that is not embedded in the eye.
• Allow tears to flow freely as that might dislodge the particle.
• Gently pull the upper eyelid over the lower one, as this action sometimes helps to take the particle out.
• Rinse with water to flush out the particle.
First Aid for Chemical Burns in the Eye
• Rinse the eye out immediately under a faucet.
• Position the face so that the affected eye is down and to the side. Do not spray water directly into the eye.
• Keep the eyelids open as wide as possible.
• Continue flushing for 15-30 minutes until you can get medical help.
• If there is light sensitivity, wear sunglasses until you reach your doctor.
• Make sure you know what chemical got into the eye, so treatment can begin immediately.
First Aid for a Blow to the Eye (black eye)
• Check the eye closely for any signs of injury.
• Look for blood. If you see any evidence of blood, seek urgent care from a specialist.
• Apply ice pack or cold compress for 15 minutes. Do this 3-4 times a day during the first 48 hours to help to control swelling.
• Do not use chemical cooling packs on the eye, as you risk leakage. Also, contrary to popular practice, don’t place a raw piece of steak or other meat on a black eye.
• Keep the head elevated on several pillows or cushions, so the swelling can subside.
• After the swelling has dissipated, warm compresses may help reduce the pain.
First Aid for Minor Cuts
• Soak the eye in water, or saline solution if available. Use a cup or a clean glass to bathe the eye in.
• Apply a clean bandage. Make sure not to use fluffy cotton ones that tiny filaments from it could stick to the eye.
• Apply light pressure to a minor skin cut to stop the bleeding. Do not apply pressure to the eyeball.
• A small cut on the inner eyelid may damage tear ducts. Check with a doctor right away, if that is the case.
Eye Care Essentials you Should Always Have in Your First Aid Kit
• Hand Sanitizer (liquid or wipes). Make sure your hands are clean before you provide any first aid to the eye area.
• Eyewash. This sterile saline solution is very handy when you’re trying to safely flush the eyes out after an injury.
• Eyecup. To bathe the eyes.
• Eye pads or gauze rolls. They provide breathable protection and controls excessive eye movements, which can save the eye from further trauma and hasten the healing process.