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First Aid & Emergencies

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Eye Injury Treatment

Call 911 if: 

  • An object such as a piece of glass or metal is sticking out of the eye.

  • An object such as a piece of glass or metal is sticking out of the eye.

1. For Chemical Exposure

  • Don't rub eyes.
  • Immediately wash out the eye with lots of water. Use whatever is closest -- water fountain, shower, garden hose.
  • Get medical help while you are doing this, or after 15 to 20 minutes of continuous flushing
  • Don't bandage the eye.

2. For a Blow to the Eye

  • Apply a cold compress, but don't put pressure on the eye.
  • Take over-the-counter acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) for pain.
  • If there is bruising, bleeding, change in vision, or it hurts when your eye moves, see a doctor right away.

3. For a Foreign Particle in Eye

  • Don't rub the eye.
  • Pull the upper lid down and blink repeatedly.
  • If particle is still there, rinse with eyewash.
  • If rinsing doesn't help, close eye, bandage it lightly, and see a doctor.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Brian S. Boxer Wachler, MD on March 28, 2013

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