‘Mum! I’ve got something in my eye!’
‘Dad, I can’t see, can you have a look?!’
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Just like eye injuries, gettings things into our eyes is pretty common even as adults.  But how do we determine if something is just an inconvenience, or a serious injury?

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Injuries to the eye can be very distressing for the casualty, so as a first aider, your aim is to prevent the situation from getting any worse. You will need to offer reassurance to the casualty and to keep them calm whilst they are distressed.

What can we look out for?

Possible Signs and Symptoms:

• Visible damage, possibly bloodshot

• Intense pain

• Spasm (twitching) of the eyelids

• Part or full loss of vision

• A clear fluid leaking from the eye

How can we help?

Treatment for Injuries:

• Do not allow the casualty to rub their eyes

• Dress the eye with an eye pad or appropriate dressing

• Don’t try to remove anything from the eye

• Tell the casualty to keep their uninjured eye closed, or even consider bandaging over it

• Call 999 or take the casualty to hospital as appropriate depending on severity

Treatment for Contamination:

If there are chemicals, dust or grit in the eye, or it has been burned (for example during welding) flush with lots of running water before dressing.

It is suggested that instead of cooling for 20 minutes like you would a regular burn, that you should rinse the eye with cold or luke-water for up to 45 minutes.

Water from the tap is fine, or you could use a sterile eyewash.

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Richard Craddock

Richard is the Managing Director at SkillBase First Aid

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