First Aid for Potential Storm Related Eye Injuries
The destruction from the tornadoes that churned across Alabama and Georgia this past week was swift and terrible. We join the Chattahoochee Valley Community in mourning the loss of so many lives. Thankfully, thousands have come together to meet the needs of our neighbors. Generosity and love have been poured out in great measure as families, friends and strangers give their resources and time to help those who have lost much.
The storm also left many people with injuries from flying debris, (and of course from our perspective and concern) eye injuries can also be common in wind storms. The American Academy of Ophthalmology’s website has this warning, “DO NOT attempt to treat a serious eye injury yourself.” Eye injuries can be tricky to self-diagnose. Sometimes the most painful injuries are more minor, while injuries with the most potential for serious vision loss are occasionally painless or with limited pain and may initially seem insignificant.
Below are some guidelines for how to administer first aid to injuries from flying debris.
First Aid for Small Particles in the Eye
- DO NOT rub the eye!
- Blink frequently and allow tears to flush to the eye.
- Lift the upper eyelid over the lower eyelid lashes to allow the eyelashes to attempt to brush the particle away.
- Flush the eye out with eyewash, saline solution, or as a last resort use running tap water over the eye.
- See an eye doctor as soon as possible if you are unable to flush out the particles or if you have pain after removing the particles.
First Aid for Eye Trauma
- DO NOT touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye. It is ok to cover the eye with a shield (see below) as long as no pressure is put on the eye.
- DO NOT try to remove any objects stuck in the eye.
- Do not apply ointment or medication to the eye.
- Over-the-counter eye drops can potentially do harm.
- Prescription medications should only be used for the exact purpose that they were prescribed.
- Go to the emergency room and/or see an eye doctor as quickly as possible.
First Aid for Cut or Puncture Eye Injuries
- Gently cover the eye. A temporary cover can be created from the bottom of a paper cup taped to the boney structure around the eye to act as a shield.
- Do not press the shield against the eye.
- DO NOT rinse with water.
- DO NOT remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
- DO NOT rub or apply pressure to the eye.
- After you have protected the eye get immediate medical attention.
Our community is strong because we care for one another. West Georgia Eye Care Center cares about your eye health and well-being, so if you have any questions about an eye injury call our office at 706-323-3491.