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When an eye injury does occur, have an eye doctor or other medical doctor examine the eye as soon as possible, even if the injury seems minor at first. A serious eye injury is not always immediately obvious. Delaying medical attention can cause the damaged areas to worsen and could result in permanent vision loss or blindness.
Because eye injuries can cause serious vision loss, it’s important to be able to recognize an injury and appropriately respond to it.
If you notice any of these signs in yourself or someone else, get medical help right away.
The goal of the eye examination is to assess the severity of the injury so the patient can be treated as soon as is required. A normal eye examination should be attempted, and may require a topical anesthetic in order to be tolerable.
The first step is to assess the external condition of the eye.
An emergency must be treated within minutes. This would include chemical burns of the conjunctiva and cornea.
An urgent case must be treated within hours. This includes penetrating globe injuries; corneal abrasions or corneal foreign bodies; hyphema; eyelid lacerations; radiant energy burns such as arc eye (welder's burn) or snow blindness; or traumatic optic neuropathy.
Semi-urgent cases must be managed within 1–2 days. They include orbital fractures and subconjunctival hemorrhages.
For all eye injuries:
If your eye has been cut or punctured:
If you get a particle or foreign material in your eye:
In case of a chemical burn to the eye:
To treat a blow to the eye:
To treat sand or small debris in the eye:
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