Rinsing the eyes with clear water helps

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"Eyes shut and go for it!" If something gets in the eye, it is better not to stick to this adage. Failure to properly treat eye injuries can result in loss of vision. Whether small foreign bodies, a blunt impact or stab wounds: First aid is required in these cases. Tips from eye expert Dr. Alexandra Király-Bösl.

Status: 06/19/2018 | archive

First aid measures for ...

  • To remove small foreign objects, pull the eyelid down and wipe the inside of the eye with a clean finger or a soft cloth.
  • The eye initially produces more tear fluid in order to rinse out the foreign body by itself. However, you should also rinse the eye thoroughly with clear water. (Tip: If you don't have any water at hand, you can also use another non-alcoholic drink besides milk)
  • Exception: you have unslaked lime (comes e.g. in mortar before) get in the eye, never rinse the eye with water! Because if you rinse your eyes with water in this case, a chemical reaction would occur. The possible consequence: blindness. Instead of rinsing, the eye should be bandaged and an emergency doctor should be called immediately. The longer the unslaked lime remains in the eye, the greater the risk that the cornea will become cloudy and tissue will die.
  • Warning: is a chemical agent (Cleaning agent) come into your eye, you must absolutely rinse outwards! Because if you flush inwards, the chemical substance could also get into the other eye.
  • If rinsing with clear water does not bring any improvement, saline solution for contact lenses, which is similar to our tears and has an antibacterial effect, can help. It is therefore more of an advantage if the eye is watery.

... blows to the eye

  • Immediately cool the affected eye.
  • Make sure that the cooling material is not placed directly on the eye. Better wrap it in a towel.

... chemical burns and burns

You should take chemical burns very seriously and act immediately.

  • Even if it hurts, open your eyelids (if necessary, pull your fingers apart) and rinse the eye with running tap water for at least 10 minutes.
  • If possible, take the corrosive liquid with you to the doctor so that he or she immediately knows what the substance is.

... stitches or cuts

  • The following applies here: Under no circumstances remove the object stuck in the eye!
  • Move your eye as little as possible. It can help to cover both the injured and the healthy eye with a plaster, as both eyeballs always move synchronously.

You shouldn't do that

  • Don't rub your eye! This is a natural reflex, but it could damage the cornea that protects the eyeball. Since the cornea is very sensitive to injuries, we can feel every grain of sand in our eyes, no matter how small.
  • Do not touch your eyes with dirty fingers; rather use a clean cloth.

In these cases, you should consult an ophthalmologist

Slight and superficial injuries or irritation of the eye are common and can often be treated without medical attention. In case of doubt and with severe injuries, however, a visit to the ophthalmologist is essential.

  • If - even with apparently harmless injuries - the pain becomes worse, the redness increases or the eye swells, you should consult a doctor. In these cases, for example, an allergic reaction (e.g. to an insect) could be the reason.
  • Sometimes even smaller foreign bodies get stuck in the cornea or hide in the upper or lower eyelid and cannot be removed by yourself.
  • You should also see an ophthalmologist if you have visual problems that last longer than an hour or if you have a foreign body sensation that you still feel after a day.
  • Get z. If, for example, small metal filings, splinters of glass or irritating liquid get into the eye, you should visit an eye clinic immediately.

Prevent eye injuries

  • Always wear protective goggles when working in which small particles (e.g. sawdust or grains of sand) can fly around.
  • Even when gardening, such as. B. when cutting hedge, protective goggles are recommended so that nothing can get into your eyes.
  • Be careful when using detergents or chemicals. It is best to use protective goggles here as well.
  • Always wash your hands thoroughly after coming into contact with irritating or corrosive liquids.
  • Whenever possible, wear sunglasses when cycling and exercising outdoors so that nothing can fly into your eyes.
  • Wearers of glasses are recommended to wear special sports glasses because they are more robust than conventional glasses and therefore do not break easily.