Foreign objects in the eye - that helps!

Quickly a dust grain can get into the eye, which is usually rinsed out by itself. It is even more dangerous if a tennis ball hits the eye or a sawing chip gets into the eye during gardening. Mild, superficial eye injuries and irritations are relatively common and can often be self-treated. In case of doubt and for all serious injuries of the eye, however, the ophthalmologist is essential.

Which effects can damage the eye?

  • Mechanical effects (foreign bodies, shocks)
    Of all eye accidents, almost 90% are caused by mechanical effects. Solid bodies can hit the eye in different sizes and penetrate into it. Dust causes irritation and / or inflammation. Sports accidents, z. As a squash ball that hits the eye with full force, are among the eye injuries that are on the rise. The consequences of a blunt trauma to the eye are internal injuries such. As damage inside the eye or to the bones of the eye socket. Therefore always consult the ophthalmologist in case of such accidents. Even with DIY, in the house or gardening by chopping or sawing quickly something in the eye.
  • Radiation (UV or laser radiation)
    Laser beams can destroy tissue. Particularly at risk is the retina of the eye. This process is not very painful, so you do not notice the damage immediately. Welding or metalwork can also result in serious eye injury if the unprotected eye looks into the welding flame.
  • Chemicals and hazardous substances such. As acids, alkalis or solvents
    Did you know that a splash of a corrosive product can cause the loss of your eyesight? Corrosive substances (acids, alkalis, irritating solvents) are frequently used in industry. These substances have a pronounced eye-damaging effect. There are also dangers in the household: drain cleaners usually contain strong alkalis and should be handled according to the instructions for use. Danger to the eyes is also threatened by spray bottles and spray cans, because one quickly misjudges the direction in which they spray.
  • Thermal action (heat, cold, IR radiation)
    Heat can be applied to the eye through contact, through gases or heat radiation. As a result, it can cause dehydration and irritation of the eye. Cold, z. B. in cold stores or in extreme outdoor temperatures, can lead to frostbite.

First aid measures

Small foreign bodies quickly get in the eye and cause pain and blurred vision, which usually pass quickly. The reason: The tear fluid flushes the foreign matter by itself. To remove small objects, pull the eyelid downwards and wipe it out with your hand or a soft cloth towards the inner corner of your eye. Then it can be rinsed with water.

In case of acid burns rinse with clear water for at least 15 minutes while spreading the eyelids wide. In the case of accidents involving acids, lyes and solvents, even a few spatters or drops can cause severe, permanent damage. The corrosion of the cornea starts immediately after contact. That's why the first few seconds are crucial. Request the emergency doctor while the eyes are being rinsed!

In case of serious injury, wear a sterile compress and go to the doctor immediately.

If in doubt better to the doctor

The eye is not an organ to treat it yourself. If additional symptoms appear after a supposedly harmless injury or complaints do not subside, the ophthalmologist should always be consulted.

Examples for this are:

  • Redness, tears, photophobia
  • Foreign body sensation that persists after half a day
  • Eyesight that lasts more than an hour
  • Pain, which becomes increasingly stronger

In principle, the doctor must be in all burns when a foreign body in the eye, in chemical burns with acids, alkalis or chemicals or dull force on the eye z. B. by a snowball. In addition, in chemical burns with food such. B. Lemon juice, if complaints persist after thorough rinsing.

Prevention - protect the eyes

For dangerous household or garden work, goggles offer protection against splashes, wood chips or sharp objects. Sunglasses with suitable glasses help against intense sunlight; Wearers wearing sportswear should opt for the use of sports glasses. In industry, there is the Berufsgenossenschaftliche rule "use of eye and face protection" (DGUV rule 112-192) for the selection of appropriate eye and face protection. Otherwise, it is important to observe the instructions for use of solvents, cleaners, etc.

Do not forget: Often, you unconsciously touch your face and eyes with soiled hands. Toxic or sharp substances should therefore always be washed off the hands quickly. It is best to wear gloves. They protect the skin and prevent careless smudging of the eyes with your hands.

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