Know what to do
WHEN a traum eye injury occurs, it is essential that you know what to do.
Traumatic eye injuries include when a foreign body ( a tiny piece of metal or glass) penetrates the cornea; when the eye is struck by a blunt object, causing blood to pool in the eye; when a forceful blow to the eye causes the eyeball to rupture; or when chemicals ( acids or alkalis) enter the eye.
Before going to hospital, here is what you should do:
Wash the eye with clean running water for at least five minutes. This means placing the eye directly under the tap and letting the water run over and off the eye to wash away the chemical.
Go to the hospital emergency room immediately after.
Penetrating/ blunt force injury
Place a solid material, such as a piece of plastic or even a small cup over the eye socket to protect the eyeball.
Gently hold the material/ cup to the face or gently secure with gauze or tape.
If no solid material is available, a thin piece of gauze or cloth should be placed very gently over the socket.
Do not apply gauze directly to the eye or press down on the eyeball as this could cause further injury, such as the inner contents of the eye spilling out.
Go to the hospital emergency room immediately.
It is best to go directly to the hospital emergency room instead of your normal general practitioner, as the GP will not have the equipment or skill to perform the treatment or surgery required.
At the emergency room, an ophthalmologist will be called in to assess and treat the injury.