Just like the arms, fingers, and feet, the eyes are prone to common injuries that require immediate attention. While some injuries will clearly require immediate medical attention, others can be resolved with some strategic home care. If you ever encounter the following eye injuries, this is how you should handle them.
Similar to how you develop pimples on your skin when your pores become clogged and infected with sweat and bacteria, a stye can grow on the edge of your eyelid when an oil gland becomes infected. It may grow on the inside or outside of the eyelid and cause pain, redness, and swelling. It’s important to note that while styes can be contagious, they don’t cause vision problems and they can heal on their own. Just be sure not to try to pop a stye like a pimple! Instead, apply a hot washcloth every few hours to alleviate the pain and encourage the stye to drain and heal.
As terrible as this sounds, eye bleeding is actually not a major concern. Also known as subconjunctival hemorrhages, eye bleeding occurs when a blood vessel breaks and leaks blood into the white of the eye. It’s a common occurrence, often from stress or exhaustion, that will look uncomfortable but will not cause any vision loss or pain. All it takes is time for the blood to clear.
Getting something in your eye is always a miserable experience, but that misery becomes exponentially worse when that “something” is a chemical. Many people cause chemical burns by accidentally splashing something into their eyes like cleaning products or beverages. As soon as a foreign substance enters your eye, let lukewarm water stream over your eye for 20 minutes, then call your eye doctor to obtain a formal recommendation. It can also help to cover the eye with a cold compress while you wait for treatment.
The surface of the eye, called the cornea, can be easily scratched by dust, dirt, sand, or other foreign objects. A scratch is likely to cause redness, pain, and sensitivity to light, but also infection if the scratch is serious enough. This is why it’s so important to see your eye doctor soon after your cornea is scratched, especially if the thing that caused the scratch was contaminated or dirty. To keep from rubbing your injured eye or trapping more bacteria in, just keep an eye shield gently over your eye until you visit your doctor.