What to do when you injure an eye1

Most of our important organs are covered with skin or hair, which offer some degree of protection. Not so our eyes. They can be easily injured in the course of daily life, and while the symptoms at the surface of the eye may be mild, the inside may be damaged.

The basics of eye first aid

When your eye gets bruised, soothe it from the top of the eyelid with a wet towel.

When a foreign object gets into your eye, don't touch it with your hands or rub it. Instead, rinse your eye with water.

If you need to see a doctor or ophthalmologist, make note of the following points:

> Cause of injury

> Injury situation

> Date and time

> Whether or not you wear glasses or contact lenses

> What you had done before going to see a doctor

> Any changes in symptoms until the examination

If detergent, medicine, or some other liquid gets into your eye, please bring the container of the remaining liquid with you to the examination.

Eye injury (traumatic injury) that occurs unexpectedly in daily life

If foreign matter, such as dust, sand, eyelashes, eyelash extensions, and insects, enters your eye, gently blink and try to shed it with tears. If this matter doesn't get flushed out with the flow, blink while your eyes are under lightly running water. If this doesn’t work, see an ophthalmologist. Never rub your eye, as there’s a risk of corneal epithelial exfoliation or the matter stabbing deeper.

When the following materials get in your eyes, you must see an ophthalmologist immediately:



> Detergents, bleach, hair coloring agents, and adhesives: Rinse your eyes immediately with water when liquid or powdered chemicals get into your eyes. Continue for more than 10 minutes, opening your eyes in the water and rinsing them off, or running water directly on your eyes from the faucet. Then, see an ophthalmologist.

> Iron powder and pieces of iron: When these pierce the cornea, there is a sense of pain for a while, but it may subside. However, if you leave them alone, the iron will rust, which will dissolve the tissue in the cornea, and you’ll feel pain again and may risk blindness. See an ophthalmologist as soon as possible and have them removed.

> Plant thorns and caterpillar hair: These have a structure that does not reverse, and sticks deeper and deeper into the eye every time you touch it. They may contain toxins, so have a specialist remove themt.

> Dead grass and dead branches: Even if the wound is mild, there’s a possibility that mold is attached, and there’s a risk of refractory cornea ulcers, so see a specialist without hesitation.

> Pencils, ballpoint pens, and chopsticks: These can cause cornea perforation, and compress the eyeball, which can cause traumatic cataracts. When you feel bleeding or the sensation of hot tears coming out, be careful not to squeeze your eyes. Never try to pull these objects out yourself, and see an ophthalmologist right away.

Eye injury caused by ultraviolet rays

An eye injury can occur even if you don't bruise the eye directly or get foreign matter in it. One example is eye inflammation caused by ultraviolet rays, which is common at beaches and alpine settings.

When eyes are exposed to strong ultraviolet rays for a long period of time, inflammation occurs on the surface of the cornea (cornerinal epithelial). This condition is called snow otitis, and its main symptoms are pain on the surface of the strong eye and foggy vision. Other symptoms such as hyperemia, rolling eyes, and uncontrollable tears can occur; in many cases, about 8 hours after exposure to ultraviolet rays.

The pain will be relieved by cooling your eyes, but if the symptoms continue the next day, consult an ophthalmologist.

Types of sports that are prone to traumatic eye injury

Martial arts, boxing, baseball, basketball, rugby, golf, badminton, and football are all activities where participants can end up with eye bruises and other eye injuries. If you experience an injury that results in sudden vision loss, pain, hyperemia, bleeding, or difficulty seeing, see a doctor as soon as possible.

The following eye injuries often occur while playing sports:



> Eye bruises, in and around the eyes

> Retinal concussion, where the retina is cloudy

> Subconjunctival bleeding, where the blood vessels of the conjunctiva covering the white eyes are cut, and a small amount of blood has accumulated under the conjunctiva.

> Iritis, inflammation in the iris

> Anterior veterior bleeding, where part of the iris is cut, and blood is flowing out into the space on the front side of the eyeball

> Orbital wall fracture, a fracture of the bone of the orbit (eye hollow), accompanied by pain, swelling, and double vision

> Eye rupture, where the cleavage covering the eyeball burst

> Macular perforations, which cause a hole in the center of the retina

> Vitreous bleeding, where blood vessels such as the retina were torn and blood flowed into the tissue that connects the inside of the eyeball

> Fundus bleeding, caused by the rupture of the blood vessels in the retina

This information is for educational purposes only. Always seek a health care professional for any bodily injury, trauma, sign, or symptom that is affecting your health.