Is it an emergency?
If you think you have an emergency, it is best to trust your instinct and get immediate help.
Here are some common situations that should be considered urgent:
- Eye infections
- Foreign objects in the eye, such as small shards of glass or metal
- Cuts or punctures of the eye or eyelid
- Chemical exposure causing pain or vision problems
- Sudden vision loss or change in your vision
- Scratches caused by foreign objects
- Sudden onset of floaters or flashes of light
Can I do basic first aid at home?
In an emergency, there is no substitution for experienced medical care. But here are a few guidelines you can follow in specific emergencies:
- If you have chemicals in your eyes, flush your eyes with water for 15 minutes and don’t cover the affected eye.
- If there is a foreign body in the eye, avoid rubbing and try to gently rinse away the debris.
- If you have sustained a major blow to your eye, use a cold compress to prevent swelling.
- If your eye or eyelid has been punctured, try to cover the eye. For instance, if you have an elongated object stuck in your eye, use the bottom of a foam cup to stabilize the puncturing object. Do not rinse.
The best way to protect yourself from eye emergencies is to educate yourself about the risks and act accordingly.
Make sure you wear protective goggles in situations where your eyes are at risk. Keep a first aid kit that includes a rigid eye shield, eyewash, and sterile gauze in any area where your eye could be exposed to damage.
Acting quickly during an emergency eye situation is critical. If you need emergency help, call Primary Eyecare Group for immediate assistance.
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