Eye Injuries

The ophthalmologists at Eye Care Associates are experts in helping patients with all types of eye injuries.

Surprisingly, nearly half of all eye injuries each year occur in and around the home, and home-based injuries are increasing each year. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that every household have at least one pair of ANSI-approved protective eyewear for use during projects and activities that may present risk of injury.

Recognizing and treating eye injuries

When an eye injury does occur, have one of the skilled ophthalmologists at Eye Care Associates examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor at first. We can fit in urgent eye exams on a same-day basis.

A serious eye injury is not always immediately obvious. Delaying medical attention can cause the damaged areas to worsen and could result in permanent vision loss or blindness.

Because eye injuries can cause serious vision loss, it’s important to be able to recognize an injury and appropriately respond to it.


If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone else, get medical help right away.

  • The person has obvious pain or trouble seeing
  • The person has a cut or torn eyelid
  • One eye does not move as well as the other
  • One eye sticks out compared to the other
  • The eye has an unusual pupil size or shape
  • There is blood in the clear part of the eye
  • The person has something in the eye or under the eyelid that can’t be easily removed

What to do for eye injuries:

  • DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye
  • DO NOT try to remove the object stuck in the eye
  • Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye
  • See a doctor as soon as possible, preferably an ophthalmologist at Eye Care Associates

If your eye has been cut or punctured:

  • Gently place a shield over the eye
  • The bottom of a paper cup taped to the bones surrounding the eye can serve as a shield until you get medical attention
  • DO NOT rinse with water
  • DO NOT remove the object stuck in eye
  • DO NOT rub or apply pressure to eye
  • Avoid giving aspirin, ibuprofen or other non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs. These drugs thin the blood and may increase bleeding
  • After you have finished protecting the eye, see one of our ophthalmologists immediately

If you get a particle or foreign material in your eye:

  • DO NOT rub the eye
  • Lift the upper eyelid over the lashes of your lower lid
  • Blink several times and allow tears to flush out the particle
  • If the particle remains, keep your eye closed and seek medical attention

In case of a chemical burn to the eye:

  • Immediately flush the eye with plenty of clean water
  • Seek emergency medical treatment right away

To treat a blow to the eye:

  • Gently apply a small cold compress to reduce pain and swelling
  • DO NOT apply any pressure
  • If a black eye, pain or visual disturbance occurs even after a light blow, immediately contact one of our ophthalmologists
  • Remember that even a light blow can cause a significant eye injury

To treat sand or small debris in the eye:

  • Use eyewash to flush the eye out
  • DO NOT rub the eye
  • If the debris doesn’t come out, lightly bandage the eye and see an ophthalmologist or visit the nearest emergency room

Eye Injury Risks in the House

  • Using hazardous products and chemicals such as oven cleaner and bleach for cleaning and other chores (accidents involving common household products cause 125,000 eye injuries each year).
  • Cooking foods can that can splatter hot grease or oil.
  • Opening champagne bottles during a celebration.
  • Drilling or hammering screws or nails into walls or hard surfaces like brick or cement; the screws or nails can become projectiles, or fragments can come off the surface.
  • Using hot objects such as curling irons around the face; inadvertent contact with the user’s eyes can cause serious injury.
  • Loose rugs and railings or other hazards that could cause falls or slips.

Injury Risks in the Yard

  • Mowing the lawn.
  • Using a power trimmer or edger.
  • Clipping hedges and bushes.

Eye Injury Risks in the Garage or Workshop

  • Using tools (power or hand).
  • Working with solvents or other chemicals.
  • Any task that can produce fragments, dust particles or other eye irritants.
  • Securing equipment or loads with bungee cords.

For all of these activities, it’s important to remember that bystanders also face significant risk and should take precautions against eye injuries too. This is particularly important for children who watch their parents perform routine chores in and around the home. Bystanders should wear eye protection too or leave the area where the chore is being done.

Recognizing and treating eye injuries