In Australia, over 92,000 workers sustain eye injuries every year
Eye injuries cost Australians in excess of $60m every year
Many eye injuries result in vision loss, which can be permanent
An eye injury is any kind of trauma suffered in or around the eye. This can include a black eye, a cut or scratch on the eyeball, a chemical burn or a foreign object lodged in the eye itself.
Some minor eye injuries, such as dirt or loose debris in the eye, can generally be resolved with at-home treatment, cleansing and monitoring. However, other injuries, like chemical burns, can be quite dangerous and can even result in partial or total vision loss if not handled properly.
For this reason, it’s important to treat every eye injury with caution – and when in doubt, seek professional medical attention.
Seek medical assistance immediately for a serious eye injury.
The most common eye injury is a foreign object lodged in the eye. This can be caused by something as simple as the wind sweeping up dust and dirt particles into the air, or a much more dangerous workplace accident involving splintered construction materials, metal shards or even ice fragments.
In the case of sports-related eye injuries, these are generally caused by a heavy blow or impact to the eye or the region around it, often by a ball or another player.
Accidents involving hazardous chemicals coming into contact with the eye can also cause dangerous eye injuries and require immediate medical attention.
Other causes of eye injuries include:
The typical symptoms of an eye injury include:
In some cases, someone with a foreign object in their eye can feel the object underneath their eyelid, indicating that they need to treat their eye to get rid of it.
Changes in vision and general eye appearance can also be a sign of eye injury. These symptoms can include:
These eye injury symptoms should be taken seriously to avoid sustaining permanent damage to your vision. Remember, when in doubt, it’s best to see a medical professional.
If there appears to be a foreign object stuck in your or someone else’s eye, the best thing to do is to flush out the eye with either water or a saline based eye wash solution. If the irritation continues, it’s best to seek medical assistance, as the object may need to be removed by a medical professional or certain eye drops may be required to properly flush out the object and heal the injury.
If there is swelling and bruising around the eye due to an impact injury, apply an icepack to the eye to help relieve symptoms and ensure the swelling goes down faster. If symptoms don’t improve, seek medical advice.
If there is a scratch, cut or blood in your eyeball itself, it’s important to rest and protect your eye as much as possible and see a medical professional for further guidance.
In the case of hazardous or dangerous chemicals coming into contact with the eye, immediately flush the eye out with water and seek urgent medical attention.