Eye injuries can be mild, such as getting soap or small dust particles in the eye, which can result in stinging, watery eyes, or small abrasions. Serious eye injuries, such as trauma to the eye or deep lacerations, can result in permanent loss of vision. Most eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear.
Eyes can be injured if they are exposed to harsh chemicals or other irritants, if they are scratched or lacerated, or if an object becomes lodged in the eye or under the lid. In cases of chemical exposure, usually the fluid is splashed into the victim’s face. Also, rubbing hands or materials containing chemicals over the eyes can expose the eyes. Certain fluids, such as acids, cause permanent damage, while others, such as hand soap, will only irritate the eye temporarily.
In the case of scratches and blows to the eye, usually the victim is hit in the face with flying debris or objects such as tree branches or baseball bats. Severe blows to the eye can result in bleeding inside the eye and broken bones around the eye.
Objects such as nails, metal and plastic filings, fiberglass and wood splinters can get lodged in the eye and cause eye injuries as well. The seriousness of the injury depends on how deep the object is lodged in the eye, and what material the object is made of. For example, rusty nails can cause more serious infections.
If a small object becomes lodged under your eyelid, first lift the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid to help remove the object. Blink a few times, but never rub your eye. Rubbing your eye can cause abrasions. If the object is large and is embedded in your eye, seek medical assistance.
If you receive a blow to the eye, apply ice or a cold compress for several minutes. If your vision remains blurred or if you have a black eye, seek medical attention. These are symptoms of possible internal damage to the eye.
If chemicals are splashed into your eyes, hold the eyelids open with your fingers and flush your eyes with water. Roll your eye around so that the water flushes all over the eye. Do not put on a bandage, and do not rub your eye. Seek medical attention immediately.
Eye injuries can be prevented by wearing protective eyewear such as glasses and goggles. Personal injury attorneys can inform you of your rights regarding eye injuries and can help you file a personal injury claim.