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Your First Steps After an Eye Injury

A blow, scratch, or chemical burn in your eye isn’t something you should treat as a wait-and-see type of injury. Failing to get immediate care could lead to infection, vision impairment, and even vision loss.

If you’ve experienced an eye injury, even if it seems minor, come in to see us at Valley Eye Professionals right away. The expert optometrists at our office in the Studio City area of Los Angeles can help prevent complications and provide you with relief following an eye injury.

When you experience an eye injury, call our office to alert the staff that you’re on your way. Here, we address eye injuries and the important first steps you should take until you can get in to see our optometry team.

What causes injury to the eyes?

Eye injuries are sometimes not noticeable until they’re really serious — for example, problems caused by a detached retina or increased eye pressure. You definitely need our expert services to resolve these problems.

Other, more obvious, causes of eye injury include:

If you’ve experienced any of these, come in for an examination right away. If the injury is serious — for example, you’ve lost vision or your eye hurts when it moves — call 911.

Even if you haven’t experienced a noticeable, injurious event, call our office if you have ongoing pain, vision trouble, an unusually sized pupil, or blood visible in the clear part of your eye.

How to handle certain eye injuries

When you’re waiting to seek professional care, follow these guidelines according to your injury:

Small particles in your eye

If you get sand or dust in your eye, it’s not usually not an emergency. Blink generously to stimulate tears so the particles flush away naturally. If you have man-made materials in your eye, like glass or metal, this is an emergency. Get to our clinic right away.

In the meantime, don’t rub your eye. You can use an eyewash or saline to flush out your eye. Do not attempt to remove a foreign object in your eye with your fingers or any other object.

Blow to the eye

If you've been punched or hit in the eye with an object such as a basketball, apply a cold compress to minimize pain and swelling. Hold this compress softly against your eye area; do not apply pressure.

Come to our office as soon as possible. Even a minimal blow can cause injuries that aren’t noticeable right away, like a retinal detachment.

Eye punctures and cuts

Protect a cut or punctured eye with a shield, but don’t press anything against your eye. A cut eye should not be rinsed with water or rubbed.

If there’s a visible object stuck in your eye, leave it alone until you get to our office. Avoid taking non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen or aspirin as they can increase bleeding.

Chemical contact

If you’ve had chemicals splashed or sprayed in your eyes, flush them with plenty of clean water. Do not rub your eyes. Get medical attention right away.

Important steps for all eye injuries

For all types of injuries to the eye, do not apply ointments, creams, or over-the-counter or prescription eye drops as this may make your injury worse. Even if you don’t have something obvious in your eye, avoid rubbing your eye or putting any pressure on the eye area.

You’ll be most comfortable if you keep your injured eye closed or covered loosely with a patch or gauze until you can receive medical attention.

An eye injury requires immediate medical care. Call us here at Valley Eye Professionals if you’ve experienced an injury or suspect something is wrong. We’re ready to help. 

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