Know what to do

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - HEALTHY EYES -

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:

Chem­i­cal in­jury

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.

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