DEFINITION : Eye emergencies include chemical exposure, eyeball scratches, eyelid cuts, foreign body in the eye, object stuck in the eye, disease, burns, as well as cuts and blows to the eye.
CONSIDERATIONS : It is important to get medical attention for all eye problems. Since the eye is easily damaged, a delay in getting medical attention can cause permanent eye damage and loss of sight. Eye problems that are not due to injury (such as disease or infection) do not require first aid but do need medical attention. Chemical injury to the eye can be caused by an occupational accident or by common household products such as cleaning solutions, garden chemicals, solvents, or many other types of chemicals. Fumes and aerosols can also cause chemical burns. With acidic burns, the hazing of the cornea usually clears with a good chance of no permanent damage.Alkaline substances such as lime, and sodium hydroxide found in refrigeration equipment present the highest risk of permanent corneal damage. Ongoing damage may occur in spite of prompt treatment. Risk factors are frequent contact with chemicals.
CAUSES : Diabetes - hypertension - head injury - acute iritis - acute conjunctivitis - acute glaucoma - orbital cellulitis - central retinal artery occlusion - retinal detachment - eyelid laceration - blood in the eye (hyphema) - corneal abrasion - foreign body or object in the eye - chemical injury - blow or cut to the eye
SYMPTOMS : bleeding - bruising - cuts or wounds - decreased vision double vision - dry eyes - headache - itchy eyes - loss of vision - eye pain in or around - pupils of unequal size - redness; bloodshot appearance - sensitivity to light - stinging and burning - sensation of foreign body in the eye
DO NOT : DO NOT press on an injured eye or allow the victim to rub the eye(s). - DO NOT remove contact lenses unless rapid swelling is occurring or you cannot get prompt medical help. - DO NOT attempt to remove a foreign body that is resting on the cornea (the clear surface of the eye through which we see) or that appears to be embed in any part of the eye - get medical help. - DO NOT use dry cotton (including cotton swabs) or sharp instruments (such as tweezers) on the eye. - DO NOT attempt to remove an embed object. - DO NOT let a burn become contaminated. Avoid breathing or coughing on the burned area. CALL IMMEDIATELY FOR EMERGENCY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IF : - an eye injury is serious. - any chemical gets into a victim's eye. - the cornea has been scratched. - eye pain persists. - there are any vision problems. FIRST AID : FOREIGN BODY IN THE EYE Often, the eye will clear itself of a tiny object through blinking and tearing. If not, here are some first aid measures:
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