During the warmer months, emergency care physicians tend to treat
eye injuries more frequently than in other months. It’s a wise decision to wear
protective eyewear when using power tools, operating lawn equipment, or
playing certain sports. Emergency care doctors strongly recommend that
parents keep children away from areas where tools and machinery are being
used. If an eye injury does occur despite these precautions, West Hills
Hospital is always open to provide care.
When chemical irritants get in the eye, they often cause painful burning
and stinging. In most cases, acidic substances cause the most redness
and burning, yet can usually be flushed out easily. Alkali substances
might not cause as much redness or pain, yet can lead to very serious
eye health problems. When the eye is exposed to chemicals, the first step
you should take is to flush out the eye with lots of sterile saline solution
or plain water. Then, go to the ER. As you’ll learn by watching
this featured video, emergency care physicians can check for serious eye
injuries and visual impairment.
An eye contusion is also called a black eye. Although black eyes typically
fade within a week or two, it’s best to see an emergency care doctor
to make sure there is no internal damage. Do not take aspirin or nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for the pain, since these can worsen
the bleeding. Instead, apply an ice pack wrapped in a clean towel for
20 minutes at a time, every one to two hours. Do not apply pressure against the eye.
Most foreign objects that get into the eye are dust particles or eyelashes.
You can remove them by irrigating the eye with sterile saline solution.
Blink frequently to dislodge the object and avoid rubbing your eyes. Less
commonly, penetrating objects like shards of glass may enter the eye.
Do not attempt to remove an
object that has penetrated the eye. Instead, call 911 right away.
If your child sustains an eye injury, don’t hesitate to call 911
or rush your child to the hospital. At West Hills Hospital, our emergency
care department is available around the clock to respond to every type
of medical emergency. General questions about our hospital services may
be directed to a registered nurse in West Hills at (818) 676-4321.