How to treat eye injuries

The eyes are the most sensitive and delicate organs in the body and are easily injured. An eye injury is a trauma or damage to the eye caused by a direct blow to the eye.

What to do

  1. Follow DRSABCD St John WA Action Plan
  2. Wash hands thoroughly and wear gloves if available.

Do not:

  • Touch the eyeball or any contact lens.
  • Allow the casualty to rub their eye.
  • Try to remove any object which is penetrating the eye.
  • Apply pressure when bandaging the eye.

Minor injury

Wash out the eye gently with water or normal saline, from the corner closest to the nose outwards. If unsuccessful, pad eye and seek medical aid.

Major injury

  1. DO NOT remove any embedded object.
  2. Lay casualty flat on their back and reassure.
  3. If a penetrating eye injury – carefully place pads around the object and bandage gently in place. DO NOT place pressure on the eye.
  4. Pad the head on each side with blankets/towels to stop the casualty from moving their head.
  5. Reassure casualty and ask them to keep their head as still as possible as they will be anxious.
  6. Urgent medical aid. Call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance.

Caused by

  • Impact with objects, such as a fist, ball, stones or tree branches.
  • Small foreign objects, such as dirt, slivers of wood/metal or sand.
  • Chemicals, such as acid, caustic soda, lime.
  • Flames, flash burns, smoke or lasers.

    Signs and symptoms

    • Pain.
    • Redness.
    • Photophobia - abnormal visual intolerance to light.
    • Watering or bleeding.
    • Pupil distortion, impaired vision.