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Eye Health Center

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Eye Injuries - Home Treatment

Most minor eye injuries can be treated at home.

  • If you have a cut on your eyelid, apply a sterile bandage or cloth to protect the area. If you don't have a sterile bandage, use a clean cloth. Do not use fluffy cotton bandages around the eye. They could tear apart and get stuck in the eye. Keep the bandage clean and dry.
  • To reduce swelling around the eye, apply ice or cold packs for 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day during the first 48 hours after the injury. The sooner you apply a cold pack, the less swelling you are likely to have. Place a cloth between the ice and your skin. After the swelling goes down, warm compresses may help relieve pain.
  • Do not use chemical cooling packs on or near the eye. If the pack leaks, the chemicals could cause more eye damage. Do not use a piece of raw meat on an injured eye.
  • Keep your head elevated to help reduce swelling.
  • Try a nonprescription pain medicine such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin to relieve pain. Do not take aspirin if you are younger than 20 unless your doctor tells you to.

More specific home treatment can be used for certain types of eye injuries.

If your eye symptoms are not completely gone after 24 hours of home treatment, see your doctor.

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