Your eyes are your windows to the world, so when they are injured it is natural to freak out. However, before you rush to the emergency room, take a moment to assess the situation. Although many eye injuries feel serious, some can be treated easily at home. Here’s what you need to know about common eye injuries.

Eye Scratches

If you ever have a feeling that something is stuck in your eye, but you just can’t seem to get it out, your eye may actually be scratched. This sensation is typically paired with watery, red eyes.

If you think you’ve scratched your eye, then you should clean it with saline solution or clean water. Also, be sure to wear sunglasses if you are heading outdoors. Whatever you do, do not rub your eye nor wear contacts.

Typically, eye scratches will fix themselves within a few days. However, if the pain does not fade, you should see an optometrist.

Blow to the Eye

If you take a blow to the eye, either from sports or a fight, you should gently apply a cold compress to reduce the pain and swelling. Make sure the compress is clean, so no bacteria gets into your eye. If you do not have a cold compress, do not use any food items as a replacement. Items like steak can cause your eye to get an infection.

If you have a black eye, pain, or vision problems after a blow, see a doctor right away. Even soft hits can cause significant eye injuries.

Chemical Burn

If you work around chemicals, you should always use proper protective equipment to protect your eyes. If you ever get any foreign chemical in your eye, you should immediately flush your eye with clean water. Keep your eyes open while flushing them, to ensure the chemical is washed out.

After 15 minutes of washing your eyes, seek emergency treatment right away. If possible, try to locate what type of chemical splashed into your eye, so doctors know the best treatment option.

Puncture on Eye

If your eye has been cut or punctured, you need to see a doctor right away.

While on your way to the doctor, gently cover your eye to shield it from the sunlight, dirt, and debris. Although you may be in pain, you should not take aspirin or ibuprofen, because it may thin the blood and cause significant bleeding.

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