Common Eye Injuries and How to Treat Them

Most people tend not to think too much about their eyes until something happens to them. However, if your eye does sustain an injury, you may panic about what to do. This is why it is so important to be aware of the most common eye injuries, and the proper treatment for them. While you should always see a specialist eye doctor after an eye injury occurs, some situations may qualify as emergencies, while others you can treat from home, until an appointment opens up. Here is a quick guide to help you learn what to expect, if you or someone you care for suffers an injury to the eye.


Scratched eyes, known medically as corneal abrasions, are the most common type of eye injury that doctors see. This can happen easily from a small poke in the eye or from rubbing a foreign body into the eye. Sand or dust is all it takes to scratch the surface of the eye. Generally you will know if you have a corneal abrasion, because your eye will get red and become very sensitive to light. See a doctor as soon as you become aware of your injury, or head to the A & E department if it happens over the weekend and your doctor is not in. In the meantime, try to avoid the urge to rub your eye.

Chemical Accidents

Most people dismiss chemical burns thinking that this type of thing would never happen to them, but most chemical burns don’t happen in the lab. In fact, they’re more likely to happen at home. For instance, alkaline substances can easily irritate an eye, and exist in simple cleaning products such as toilet bowl cleaners, oven cleaners, and chalk dust. A quick accidental spray or splash to the eye is all it takes to cause an issue. If you think a chemical has affected your eye, immediately place your head under just-warm tap water for 15 minutes, allowing the water to rinse out the eye. After rinsing call your doctor or get local, urgent medical care.

Black Eye

Eye swelling, known to most as a black eye, can result from getting hit around the eye area. There are a variety of ways this can happen of course, but they all will tend to cause swelling. An ice pack should do the trick in most cases, but if the swelling is particularly bad, then it may be a good idea to see an eye doctor to rule out internal damage.

For full First Aid Training for yourself, employees or club members contact the team at NDFA