Eye Injury

Eye injuries can occur for many different reasons. Eye injuries can result from a foreign body, chemical exposure, black eye or blunt injury.

Foreign Body

A foreign body is anything that does not belong in your eye. This may include, dust, grass, an insect, glass or metal.  If a foreign body is left in your eye, it can cause infection and scarring and may affect your vision.

Symptoms of a foreign body

  • Pain in your eye.
  • Burning and irritation.
  • Eye is watering and red.
  • Your eye feels scratchy when you blink.
  • You feel something in your eye.
  • Blurred vision.

Treatment of foreign body

Do not try to remove the foreign body except for flushing it with sterile water as you may cause scratching of the eye.  Take your child to a doctor where they will have their vision checked and the foreign body will be removed.

The eye will be cleaned with sterile water. Sometimes an x-ray may be needed to see if the foreign body has entered the eyeball. Your child may require a patch over their eye whilst it heals.  Pain relief such as paracetamol may be recommended if the eye is sore.


Chemical Exposure

Most commonly eye injuries caused by chemicals around the home are from cleaning or gardening products. They can be solid, liquid or vaporous and can damage the eye. If you know what your child has got in their eye, it will help when they are seen by a doctor/nurse.  Record details of the chemical or, if it is safe to transport, take the container with you.

Treatment of chemical exposure

Immediately flush the eye with water for up to 30 minutes and contact your poison control center on 13 11 26. Your child will need to seek medical help.

Black eye or blunt injury

Black eyes are often the sign of minor injuries, however they can also happen when there has been significant head trauma or eye injury.

Treatment of Black eye

  • Apply a cold pack.
  • Give pain relief such as paracetamol.

If any of the following symptoms are evident then you will need to seek medical help for your child:

  • Increased redness.
  • Visual disturbances.
  • Bleeding on the white part (sclera) of the eye.
  • Persistent pain.
  • Fluid leaking from the eye.

Things to remember for eye injuries

If your child is given antibiotic drops or ointment use them as instructed. Always wash your hands before using the drops or ointment on the eye.

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