If you work in a factory or in occupations such as construction, auto repair, or landscaping, eye injuries are a hazard you want to avoid. Every day, 2,000 American workers experience an eye injury on the job. When you add in eye injuries from sports such as baseball and accidents at home, the number comes to a whopping 2.4 million eye injuries per year.
The most important thing to remember about an eye injury is to seek immediate help from medical professionals. Here at DOCCS, our providers treat all kinds of acute problems, including eye emergencies.
Here are five good reasons why you need to get help from the pros for an eye injury.
Seeking medical help for an eye injury right away can make the difference between proper healing and permanent damage or potential blindness if the injury is left untreated.
You might think, “Oh, I’ve just got a cut on my eyelid from that tree branch. I can wash it off and forget it.” But that’s not a safe plan. The muscles in your eyelid could be damaged and might not open and close properly tomorrow morning when you wake up. A duct under the eyelid could develop an infection or you could have part of the branch embedded under the eyelid even though you might not see it -- a characteristic of penetrating injuries. A physician needs to remove foreign objects that have moved underneath the skin.
Did you get dirt or sand in your eye from a construction zone? Either can actually scratch your cornea. Some bacteria and fungi can get into your eye from that scratch and damage your eye within 24 hours. The bacterial contamination can actually result in blindness if it’s not treated.
If you get a foreign object in your eye, it could become deeply embedded if you try to remove it, leading to more serious injury.
You can take the first step at home if the substance is something like dirt or yard debris that’s not sharp. You can flush your eye with plenty of water using an eye cup, or open and close your eye in a container with water. Then go straight to DOCCS Urgent Care. You may need an antibiotic to prevent infection and an exam to make sure your cornea isn’t scratched.
However, the above advice goes out the window if you have part of a sharp object in your eyes such as a metal shard or a piece of glass. In that case, you should place a clean cloth or gauze over the eye, try not to move it, and get medical attention immediately. Here at DOCCS, we’re open seven days a week from 7am-11pm. During other hours, have someone drive you straight to the emergency room, or an ambulance can take you.
Physicians at DOCCS Urgent Care can evaluate your sight to ensure that your vision isn’t compromised by an injury. If it has been affected, DOCCS physicians know what steps to take to treat it. Your vision is one of your most important senses. Think of how your life would be impacted if your sight were diminished.
Our DOCCS physicians can gauge how serious the eye injury is and develop a plan for healing it. For example, if you’ve been hit with a bat, you could have a fracture in the bones around your eye, which could lead to bleeding in your eye. Either problem requires immediate treatment.
You may have questions about the repercussions of your eye injury. Is surgery needed? Will you be able to do your job? We can give you answers to help calm anxiety over this unexpected event, and let you know the next steps in your treatment plan.
DOCCS Urgent Care physicians can provide ongoing treatment for any chronic condition caused by the injury or refer you to the appropriate specialist for continuing care.
The best kind of follow-up care is protecting your eyes by taking preventive steps to avoid future eye injuries. Always wear the right eye protection in environments that could pose a threat to your eyes. Most eye injuries can be prevented with the proper equipment: a face mask for sports and goggles or other designated eye shields on the factory floor or at a construction site.
If you live nearby Melbourne, Florida, and have an eye injury, come straight to DOCCS Urgent Care for prompt evaluation and treatment.