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Eye Injury                                            Minor eye injury                                      Major eye injury                            Eye Injury    
Eye Injury


Facial injuries require special attention because of their potential for damage to several of the ‘senses’, the airway and the possibility of permanent disfigurement. Contusions, lacerations and puncture wounds all have the capacity to permanently disfigure the patient. In the case of the cheek and chin, injuries also may result in loss of function if facial nerves or muscles are injured.

The eye is a robust but delicate organ. It can sustain quite severe damage and, with the proper treatment, recover to its former state. In some instances however, it can suffer what would be considered a minor injury and be permanently damaged. Consideration should always be given to preventing eye injuries and sufficient protective measures should be taken. Generally, eye injuries are considered as either minor or major injuries.

  • Eye Injuries
  • Ear Injuries
  • Tooth Injuries

Minor eye injuries

These are injuries where the eye has been struck by a foreign object, or has a small object adhering to its surface, causing irritation. It is characterised by a bloodshot eye, irritation, and an urge to rub the eye.




  • irrigate the eye and wash the object out
  • if this fails, touch the corner of a clean wet cloth to the object and lift it off the surface
  • refer to medical aid if vision is affected
  • cover the affected eye if appropriate
  • avoid ‘pushing’ the object around the eye’s surface

only use eye-drops if prescribed by a doctor



Major eye injuries

These are injuries that involve the penetration of the body of the eye, or involve severe blunt trauma to the eye. These injuries are characterised by blood in the eye, penetrating objects, disturbance of vision, protrusion of eye contents, and severe pain and spasms. Casualty care in this case is critical, and should be left to the experts.




  • lay the casualty supine with complete rest
  • call ‘115’ for an ambulance
  • cover the affected eye
  • if tolerated by the casualty, cover the unaffected eye, but remove it if the casualty becomes anxious
  • reassurance
  • avoid attempting to remove any penetrating object
  • attempts to transport the casualty other than by ambulance
    should be resisted

eye-drops are not to be used under any circumstances



Welder’s Flash

Flash burn and welder’s flash is the result of staring or inadvertently looking at the intense light caused during metal welding, while not wearing the correct eye protection. Care must be taken to supervise children if welding is being conducted near them, and they should be removed from the location. The damage caused to the eye’s cornea by exposure to this intense light can be painful and, in some cases, permanent.




  • apply cool compresses and cover the eyes with pads
  • urgent medical attention if pain or spots persist





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