Generally speaking, first aid for all eye injuries (other than the removal of small foreign objects) should be followed up by expert examination of the eyes. The surface of the eye is very delicate, easily damaged.
Foreign Bodies in the Eye
Small items such as dust and grit can be washed from the eye by gently running water through the eye. Larger objects can be dabbed off the eyeball with a clean handkerchief dipped in the same solution; you may have to lift the upper lid to encourage the natural rear fluid to wash the object to the front of the eyeball.
If pain persists for more than 12 hours after removal of a foreign object, see a doctor as soon as possible.
If the eye is penetrated by glass or splinters, do not try to remove them. Dial 911, and put a pad of gauze over both eyes to discourage eye movements (if the uninjured eye moves, the injured eye moves with it).
Bruising Around the Eye
A single black eye is usually the result of a hard knock on the nose. If the skin around both eyes is bruised and blackened, the person may have sustained a fracture of the skull (see Head injuries).
Cuts Near the Eye
If the cut is small, bring the edges together and apply butterfly sutures. If the cut is large, soak a pad of gauze in Hypericum and Calendula solution, wring it out, bandage it tightly over the cut and take the person to the nearest Accident and Emergency department to have it stitched.
Chemicals in the Eye
Chemical accidents involving the eyes call for very swift action indeed. As well as causing excruciating pain, they can lead to permanent blindness.
Turn the head so that the affected eye is lower than the other – this prevents the offending chemical from trickling into the uninjured eye. Hold the person’s face and eye under a gently running tap for 10-15 minutes, separating the eyelids with your fingers. Then cover the eye with sterile gauze and a bandage. Take the person to the nearest Accident and Emergency department to have the eye checked.
This is the result of over-long exposure to snow glare without the benefit of sunglasses or ski goggles. The eyes become puffy, painful, and water profusely. Cover the eyes with sterile pads, and seek expert medical help.