Many People learn Basic Life Saving skills to save lives and render primary care to the sufferers in emergency situations. Similarly, there can be "sight saving situations" where timely action can restrict damage and give sufficient time safely to reach a higher centre for further management.
1. Sputtering of hot cooking oil into the eyes while frying.
Rinse eyes immediately in running cold water or simply dip your head in a bucket full of water to bring down the temperature as soon as possible. Apply cool patch/ice pack around the lids. Instil only lubricating drops (if available), gently patch the eyes with a sterile eye pad or clean handkerchief and take the patient to an eye surgeon.
2. Squirting of glue in the eyes.
This is not an infrequent occurring with people trying to squeeze tubes that have a blocked nozzle. Immediate action should be to rinse eyes in running water. Luke warm water around 40 degrees is somewhat more effective. Put an ointment (lubricant or antibiotic) in the eye, gently cover the eye and take the patient to an eye surgeon.
3. Chemical Injury to the eyes (domestic).
Diluted Hydrochloric Acid, phenols, diluted caustic soda are some of the common corrosive chemicals found in homes for cleaning purposes. They are acidic or alkaline in nature. Accidental exposure is not uncommon. Immediate action is again washing off of the chemical to dilute its damaging effect. Wash should continue for several minutes before a patient is taken to a medical facility. lubricating drops, gels, ointments or antibiotic ointment may be applied for relief.
Carry the bottle or the container in which the chemical was stored, with a label, in case the exact nature of chemical is not known, it will help the treating doctor in carrying out specific treatment.
4. Foreign Body (FB) in the eye (domestic)
Foreign bodies of different kinds fall into eyes under various circumstances such as- dusting, blowing dust with a vacuum cleaner, using a screwdriver on rusted components, hammering a nail, splicing cables, cutting wires, gardening or simply going for a ride. Do not rub the eyes or put pressure as the FB can go deeper into the cornea. Rinse in running water for a while, cover the eye with a suitable patch and take the patient to a facility. One can use lubricating drops or antibiotic drops on the way. No ointment, please.
5. Soap solution, shampoo, chlorine in water or face creams in the eyes
This is a common issue especially with young children and all it requires is thorough rinsing followed by a lubricating eye drop and some cool compresses. Creams can be very irritating as they adhere to the cornea and take a while to get washed off. Chlorine in the swimming pools can also cause a lot of irritation especially on the days when tipping is done. Preservative free lubricating drops, cold compresses provide relief.
6. Blunt trauma around the eyes
Accidental injuries from window panes, friendly boxing or grappling amongst children are also a frequent occurrence. Apply gentle pressure on the bones to prevent swelling around the eyes and apply a cold patch with pressure. Take the opinion of a doctor in due course. At times a blue haematoma may occur after a few days. Please take an opinion as some blunt traumas around the eyes can lead to retinal oedema (Berlin's Oedema) that needs to be tackled timely to prevent a loss of visual acuity.
7. Penetrating Injuries
Penetrating injuries are seen with pencil tips, pen tips, compass used in geometry, knives, scissors, sewing needles, screwdrivers etc. Do not try to examine the eye forcefully, prise the lids, put pressure on the eye or even touch it. All these actions can result in disastrous outcomes! Prevent the child from pressing or touching the eye by firmly holding in lap. Patch the eye gently with a clean handkerchief or a sterile pad and reach a facility at the earliest.
You may keep a special first aid kit ready with disposable sterile eye pads, clean bandages, one-inch plaster tape, scissors, preservative free lubricating gel drops and gel tubes, antibiotic eye ointment, antibiotic eye drops etc. A plastic bottle with a bent tube at the opening may be useful for gentle irrigation of the eyes with water.
It is equally important to reduce the risk of injuries at home by keeping potentially harmful chemicals out of reach of children and supervise them when they are using sharp instruments. Safety always Saves.