Eye Injury – Black Eye, Chemical, Corneal Abrasion

Eye Injuries


Black Eyes

Black eyes can be signs of more serious injuries.Black eyes might be something we associated with little boys’ playground scraps and young mens’ bar room brawls, but sometimes a black eye can actually indicate something much more serious (like a skull fracture), especially if the injured person has two black eyes. A black eye requires some treatment in order to help

  • Gently apply a cold compress around the black eye but don’t press onto the eye itself. This helps to reduce the swelling.
  • Take notice of any evidence of blood in the whites of the eyes or around the iris. If there is blood present, it could mean something serious and you should try to seek professional medical care as soon as is possible.
  • If the person has problems with vision, seek medical help when possible.


Chemicals in the Eyes

In case of a disaster situation, it’s possible that chemicals may accidentally splash on your face and even get into your eyes. If chemicals get into your eyes, follow these tips:

  • Flush the eyes for at least 20 minutes with clean, lukewarm water — either by holding a shower head over the affected eye or putting your head down and sideways beneath a running faucet.
  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water just in case you got any chemicals on them. Your top priority should be to get flush the chemicals from your eyes but remember to wash the chemicals off of the other parts of your body, too.
  • Remove your contact lenses if you wear them.
  • Do not rub your eyes as this could cause even more damage.


Corneal Abrasions

A corneal abrasion is a very common injury in disaster situations as all of the dust and debris flying around can certainly get into your eyes. Abrasions can be very painful, often feeling like there is sand in your eyes when in fact it’s a scratch on your cornea. Other symptoms may be tears, redness, sensitivity, and blurred vision. If you think you might have a corneal abrasion, consider the following:

  • Rinse out the eye with clean water, using an eye cup or a small drinking glass if possible.
  • Blink a few times. Trying to “blink it out” often works.
  • Pulling the upper eyelid down over the lower eyelid is another neat trick, because the eyelashes may brush the foreign object away from your upper eyelid.

If none of the following work, it’s possible that you have a corneal abrasion. The good news is that eyes tend to heal quickly and covering the eye with a piece of gauze to keep it closed can help it clear up more quickly.

In case of a corneal abrasion, do not attempt any of the following:

  • Do not try to remove anything which is embedded in the eye.
  • Do not rub your eyes as you might make matters worse and/or cause more corneal abrasions.
  • Do not touch your eyeball. Touching your eye can introduce additional viruses and bacteria and make matters much worse.