BLUNT TRAUMA TO THE EYES: WHAT DO YOU DO?
What do you do when someone around you receives a hard blow to the eye with a fist or even a blunt object?
The other day my mechanic called me on the phone. He had been trying to loosen a tight bolt and while applying force the spanner slipped and hit him on the eye. He said the pain was excruciating and for a while he couldn’t see. He had to lie down for a while then he remembered he had a client who is an eye doctor. He was very distraught thinking he had lost that eye.
When an injury like that occurs around you or to you what you mustn’t do is apply pressure to it. That impact may have caused a fracture to the socket or the bones around the eye or damaged the structures of the eye – the conjunctiva, cornea, sclera, iris, lens. There might even be involvement with the internal structures. So here are some things you should not do:
- 1. Applying pressure at that time would be the wrong thing to do even when there is bleeding.
- 2. Do not rub or apply any form of ointment around the eye.
Here is what you should do:
- 1. Gently apply a cold compress on the site to help reduce any swelling or stop any bleeding. Note the key word is Gently.
- 2. If there is any bleeding cover the eyes with a sterile dressing or a clean cloth.
3. SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY.Do not engage in self medication.
Blunt impacts to the eye when treated immediately and professionally may have a good outcome depending on the severity of the impact.
Always wear protective eye wear when working with tools or engaging in activities where there is a risk of injury.