Eye Problem

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The eye is a very delicate organ. If scarring occurs, on the surface of the eye, blindness may result. The eye can become sore for a number of reasons, and it is important for the first aider to be able to recognise when it is necessary to seek medical aid.

SEEK MEDICAL AID

When there is a cut to the surface of the eye.

When the eye has been burned.

When the eye has a discharge.

If you suspect an infection.

When an object is embedded in the eye.

Eye infection 

You will notice

Complaint of a sore eye. 

You may notice

Complaint of a gritty sensation, pain on blinking and other eye movements.

The eye and eyelids may be inflamed.

The eyelids may be warm to touch.

The eye may be watering.

The eye may be discharging.

·Blurred vision. 

TREATMENT

Prevent the casualty making the condition worse by rubbing the eye.

Ensure the casualty receives medical help.

Do not cover the eyes as this will increase the rate of germs multiplying. 

Contact lens problems

Contact lenses come in two main varieties: hard and soft. The hard type are fairly small and firm whereas the soft types are comparatively large and relatively floppy.Most wearers of contact lenses become very adept at managing their own eye care, including any problems that might occur. 

Displaced contact lens

The eye is a very smooth rounded organ and, on occasion, a contact lens becomes displaced from over the pupil to another part of the eye, causing varying measured of irritation. 

TREATMENT

 

Assist the casualty to locate the lens. Do this by gently sliding the upper eyelid up and over the top of the eye and ask the casualty to look up, down, left and right. If necessary, repeat this with the bottom eyelid. Remember the casualty will usually be very adept at doing this. 

When the lens is located, gently try to massage it back into a normal position. Do this by working over the closed eyelid, asking the casualty to keep the eye still.

If unsuccessful, refer the casualty to an optician or seek medical advice. 

Other foreign bodies

Prevent the casualty rubbing his/her eyes.

Sit the casualty down in a good light. 

Examine the eye for any sign of the foreign body. Do this by gently sliding the upper eyelid up and over the top of his eye, asking the casualty to look up, down, left and right. If necessary, repeat this with the bottom eyelid.

If you can see a foreign body, you will need to 'float' it out.

Ask the casualty to incline the head on to the affected side; place a towel (or similar) over the shoulder on that side.

Using a cup of clean water, slowly pour it into the corner of the eye next to the nose.

Do not pour the water directly on to the coloured part of the area.

As the water runs across the eye it should 'float' the foreign body out.

If this is unsuccessful, and provided you are sure that the foreign body is not sticking to, or penetrating, the eye, use a moist swab or the damp corner of a clean handkerchief to lift it off the eye. 

If the foreign body remains on the eye, or if the casualty is experiencing undue discomfort, abandon your efforts and obtain expert help from a local doctor or hospital. 

Burns to the eye

Splashes of certain substances into the eye can cause a chemical or heat burn which, in turn, may lead to scarring and blindness. 

You will notice

The casualty tells you something has splashed into the eye. 

You may notice

Extreme pain in the eye.

Redness and swelling in, and around the eye.

Watering of the eye.

Inability to open the eye. 

TREATMENT

Prevent the casualty rubbing, or touching the eye.

Flood the eye with running water from a gently running tap, or by continually pouring water from a glass or jug. 

NOTE

Ensure that in washing out the eye you do not allow eyewash from the affected eye to enter and contaminate the unaffected eye. Suitably protect your hands, and as far as possible, the casualty's face from becoming contaminated by chemicals.

Call for an ambulance.

Continue to flood the eye until the ambulance arrives. 

Flash burns

These occur when the eye is exposed to excessive glare produced by reflection of the sun's rays from a surface such as snow, etc. It can also be caused by looking into intense light produced by a welding torch. 

You will notice

Extreme pain in the eyes.

You may notice

Sensitivity to light.

Poor, blurred visibility.

Redness and watering of the eyes. 

TREATMENT

Apply eye pads to both eyes.

Take, or send, the casualty to hospital.

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