What are the four most common eye injuries?

softball player kneeling with injuryExperts say that the most common cause of blindness is eye injuries. According to the Vision Council, you can avoid up to 90% of these common eye injuries with proper safety eyewear. Wondering if you are at risk for eye injuries? Here are four of the most common eye injuries and what you can and should do if they happen to you.

  1. Corneal Abrasions

Though its technical name sounds rather serious, scratching ones cornea is one of the more common eye injuries. Dust, sand, a finger nail or a mascara-coated eye lash can all cause a minor scratch on the surface of the cornea. Contact lens wearers must especially be aware of the possibility of scratching their eyes during lens care.

What do you do if you have a corneal abrasion? In most minor cases, your eye will heal itself within a day or two. If the pain is severe and you’re experiencing symptoms like eye redness, extreme discomfort or sensitivity to light, head to your optometrist’s office right away.

It’s possible for bacteria and fungi to enter the eye through the scratch and cause an infection. It’s important to not rub your eye. Try to keep it closed until you can get medical attention.

  1. Foreign Objects in the Eye

Foreign objects in the eye are a leading cause of eye injury. If you somehow get a paper clip, pencil point or any other object in the eye, go to the emergency room or an urgent care facility immediately. It is dangerous to try and remove an object that has lodged itself in your eye or penetrated your cornea.

  1. Chemical Burns: Foreign Substance in the Eye

Being splashed in the eye by harmful chemicals, present in strong cleansers, can cause serious harm (and pain). Acids are especially dangerous. They can cause painful burning and redness, yet they usually wash out easily by doing an eye flush. Other substances, like chalk dust or household cleaners, may not cause the same immediate burning reaction, but can also harm your eyes.

If you get chemicals in your eye, put your head under a steady stream of lukewarm tap water for several minutes. This is called an eye flush. Then call your eye doctor or an urgent care facility to figure out next steps.

  1. Swollen or “Black” Eyes

This type of injury is most obvious to you and those around you, but usually the least dangerous. A black eye is the result of bruising around the eye combined with swelling. This injury can look painful but can be treated with a simple ice pack. It will heal over time. It is a good idea to get your eye examined after this type of injury to be sure there’s no internal damage.

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