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What to do if an eye injury happens to you?

First things first: Seek medical attention as soon as possible following an eye injury, especially if you experience blurred vision, eye pain, impairment or loss of vision and/or peripheral vision.

Whether at work, school, or home there should always be a first aid kit and easily accessible emergency procedure that can and should be taken until medical assistance is available. When you go back to work or school make sure you know where this important information is. If you can’t locate it, bring it to the attention of your manager, supervisor or teacher for your safety and the safety of everyone else.

Here are a few vital “to do’s” in the case of an eye injury:

If you get debris, dirt or particles in your eye:

  • Be sure not to rub the eyes.
  • Try your best to let your tears wash the speck out of your eye. If that doesn’t work, irrigate the eye with eye drops.
  • Try to lift and pull the upper eyelid outward and down over the lower eyelid to remove the particle physically.
  • If you are not able to remove the particle or you are unable to wash the debris free, close the eye, bandage it lightly and seek medical care immediately.

If you receive a blow to your eye:

  • To reduce pain and swelling, locate a cold compress and, without pressure, apply it on the eye as quickly as possible. In lieu of a compress, crushed ice in a plastic bag can be used instead.
  • Seek immediate medical care in cases of severe pain, double vision, reduced vision, or vision loss.

If you receive a cut or puncture to your eye or eyelid:

  • Absolutely DO NOT wash the eye.
  • Under no circumstances should you attempt to remove an object that has become stuck in your eye.
  • As best you can, cover the injured eye with something firm to shield it from further injury.
  • Seek immediate medical attention.

If you get chemicals in your eye:

  • Immediately place the eye under a faucet or shower and flush the eye with water for at least 15 minutes. If necessary use a garden hose, bottled water, or pour water into the eye from a clean container.
  • If you are contact lens wearer, do not remove the lenses. Begin flushing the eye immediately. You may lose a lens but you’ll potentially be saving an eye.
  • Absolutely DO NOT try to neutralize the chemical with any other substance.
  • Do not fix a bandage on the eye.
  • After flushing, seek immediate medical attention.

If you do encounter an eye injury, these steps will be helpful in preventing harmful or permanent damage to your eye. Again, guidelines and policy for eye safety should be easily accessible. If that information is not readily available, bring it to the attention of your manager, supervisor or teacher. After you’ve taken the proper steps in regard to your type of eye injury, seek immediate medical attention. Be sure to ask your local Johnson Optometric Associates eye doctor about workplace eye safety at your next visit for a comprehensive eye exam.

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