DO NOT try to remove an object that is stuck in your eye without professional medical help.
If chemicals are splashed in the eye, IMMEDIATELY flush the eye with water for 15 minutes. The person should be quickly taken to the nearest emergency room.
Anyone with severe eye pain needs to be evaluated in an emergency care center or by an ophthalmologist immediately.
Treatment for corneal injuries may involve:
Removing any foreign material from the eye
Wearing an eye patch or temporary bandage contact lens
Using eye drops or ointments prescribed by the doctor
Not wearing contact lenses until the eye has healed
Taking pain medicines
Injuries that affect only the surface of the cornea normally heal very quickly with treatment. The eye should be back to normal within 2 days.
Injuries that penetrate the cornea are much more serious. The outcome depends on the specific injury.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider if the injury has not significantly improved in 2 days with treatment.
Wear safety goggles at all times when using hand or power tools or chemicals, during high impact sports, or in other situations where you may get an eye injury.
Wear sunglasses that screen ultraviolet light when you are exposed to sunlight, even during the winter.
Be careful when using household cleaners. Many household products contain strong acids, alkalis, or other chemicals. Drain and oven cleaners are particularly dangerous. They can lead to blindness if not used correctly.
Yanoff M, Cameron D. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 431.
Vinger PF. The eye and sports medicine. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. On DVD-ROM. 1st ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkions;2009:chap 45.
Cameron JD. Surgical and nonsurgical trauma. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Foundations of Clinical Ophthalmology. Vol. 3. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkions;2012:chap 6.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington; and Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Opthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc.