How to Handle Common Eye Emergencies

Accidents and emergencies can happen at any time, and they can affect any part of the body, including our eyes. Knowing what to do in an eye emergency can make a big difference to the outcome of any treatment that you may need. In fact, doing the right thing could be what saves your long-term vision.


Here’s our guide to how to handle common eye emergencies.


If You Get Something Small in Your Eye…


It’s not uncommon to find that you get something small lodged in your eye. It’s normally something like sand, grit, dust, dirt, or another natural particle. Although it’s not technically an emergency, if your eyes don’t naturally flush the particle out using your own tears, you may need to intervene to prevent any damage – especially if the particle you have got in your eye is sharp, like a shard of glass or a thorn.


You Should:


  • Not rub your eye, as this could cause scratches and abrasions

  • Blink quickly to try and stimulate tear film to flush out the particle

  • Use saline solution or clean, cool running water to flush the particle out

  • Contact your eye doctor for advice and support


If You Get Hit in the Eye (Blunt Force Trauma)…


Getting a blunt force impact to the eye isn’t uncommon either, and it can occur for many reasons, from being involved in a fight to getting a ball to the eye during a game. Whatever the cause, it’s almost certainly painful. 


You Should:    


  • Apply a clean, cold compress to the eye to prevent and minimize swelling

  • Avoid applying any pressure to the area

  • Take anti-inflammatory pain medication

  • Monitor your vision closely for visual disturbances, such as floaters

  • Make an appointment with your eye doctor for a check-up right away


If You Experience a Chemical Burn…


There are two ways of accidentally getting a chemical substance in your eyes. It may happen directly – such as aiming a product the wrong way and spraying it. Conversely, it may happen indirectly, such as by getting chemicals onto your fingers and then touching your eyes. Chemical burns have the potential to be extremely damaging, and you should take action immediately, even before contacting your emergency eye doctor.


You Should:    


  • Rinse your eye under cool, running water for at least 15 minutes

  • Avoid touching your eye with anything

  • Contact your emergency eye doctor with details about the chemical



If You Experience a Cut or Abrasion…


Sometimes a sharp force trauma can cause a scrape, cut, or another abrasion to the surface of your eye, and this has the potential to cause permanent damage to your vision. You need professional intervention right away and shouldn’t try to administer any sort of first aid.


You Should:    


  • Cover the eye with a shield (such as an upturned paper cup)

  • Get to your emergency eye doctor as quickly as possible


If You Suffer from Sudden Visual Disturbances


Any sort of sudden changes should be investigated right away, irrespective of whether or not they are accompanied by other symptoms such as pain. If you start to experience sudden visual disturbances – loss of vision, colors suddenly seeming faded, floaters and flashes, wavey lines, or anything else, you should make an appointment for an assessment with your eye doctor right away.



For more advice on how to handle common eye emergencies, please speak to our highly skilled and experienced team at Claremore Eye Associates in Claremore, Oklahoma at (918) 233-3319 today.

Helpful Articles


Learn More

In Touch

Contact Us