What are the signs and symptoms of an eye injury?
It's not always easy to identify an eye injury — especially in a child. Seek medical care immediately if you notice any of these signs or symptoms:
- Obvious pain or trouble seeing
- A cut or torn eyelid
- One eye not moving as well as the other eye
- One eye sticking out farther or seeming more prominent than the other
- An unusual pupil size or shape
- Blood in the white part of the eye
- An object on the eye or under the eyelid that can't easily be removed
What can you do if an eye injury occurs?
When an eye injury occurs, seek medical help from an ophthalmologist or another doctor as soon as possible — even if the injury seems minor. Delaying care could lead to permanent vision loss or blindness. In addition, take simple steps to prevent further damage. For example:
- Don't touch, rub or apply pressure to the eye
- Don't try to remove an object that appears stuck on the surface of the eye or an object that appears to have penetrated the eye
- Don't apply ointment or medication to the eye
- Flush out any chemicals the eye has been exposed to with plenty of clean water
- Gently place a shield or gauze patch over the eye until you can get medical attention
An accident can happen in the blink of an eye. Being prepared — both through prevention and quick action in case of an emergency — can help keep you and your loved ones seeing clearly.
July 20, 2013
See more In-depth
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- In the work place. American Academy of Ophthalmology. Accessed April 3, 2013. http://www.aao.org/eyesmart/injuries/workplace.cfm. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Eye injuries among children. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.aao.org/eyesmart/injuries/children.cfm. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Protective eyewear. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.aao.org/eyesmart/injuries/eyewear.cfm. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Workplace injuries involving the eyes, 2008. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/opub/cwc/sh20110217ar01p1.htm. Accessed April 5, 2013.
- Eye safety checklist. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/eye/eyechecklist.html. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Sports-related eye injury. National Eye Institute. http://catalog.nei.nih.gov/p-390-sports-related-eye-injury-powerpoint-presentation-and-speakers-guide-pdf.aspx. Accessed April 5, 2013.
- Celebrating with good eye protection. American Academy of Ophthalmology. http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/living/preventing-eye-injuries-champagne.cfm. Accessed April 3, 2013.
- Robertson DM et al. Retinopathy from a Green Laser Pointer. Archives of Ophthalmology. 2005;123:629.