If you or a family member injures an eye, basic first aid can prevent further damage or loss of sight.
Guard your sight. Protect your eyes with safety glasses whenever there’s any risk of danger to your eyes.
You must go to your doctor or the emergency department for all eye injuries. Don’t take risks with your vision.
Cut to the eye or eyelid
If your eye or eyelid is cut, bandage the eye lightly and seek medical care right away. Don’t try to wash out your eye or remove any objects stuck in your eye. Don’t rub or apply pressure to the injured eye or lid.
Blow to the eye
Treat a blow to the eye immediately with an ice compress for about 15 minutes. This reduces pain and swelling.
Black eyes or blurred vision may indicate damage to your eyeball.
Contact with caustic chemicals
If your eyes come in contact with caustic chemicals, immediately flush the eye with water for at least 15 minutes. Open your eye as wide as possible, using your fingers to spread the lids, and roll your eyeball as much as possible to clean all surfaces. Don’t use an eye cup or bandage the eye.
When you go to your doctor or emergency department, take the chemical container with you if possible.
If you have something in your eye
Cover both eyes and have someone take you to your doctor or emergency department if something is stuck in your eye or has penetrated your eyeball.
To remove something from your eye, like an eyelash, dust or insect, follow these steps.
- Don’t rub your eye.
- Wash your hands before touching your eye.
- Look in a mirror so you can see the object in your eye.
- Blink to allow your tears to wash it out.
- Pull your upper eyelid over your lower eyelid and roll your eyeball.
- Remove floating particles with a wet cotton swab or the corner of a clean cloth while holding your upper or lower eyelid open.
- Use an eye cup or small glass to rinse your eye with plain water to flush it out, and then blow your nose.