FIRST AID: Dealing with an eye injury

St John Ambulance, the nation's leading first aid charity has teamed up with The News to bring you some simple, but life-saving, first aid tips.

Tuesday, 27th February 2018, 10:45 am
St John Ambulance gives advice on dealing with a foreign object in the eye

Foreign objects such as grit, a loose eyelash or contact lens which lie on the surface of the eye can easily be rinsed out. Sharp fragments like metal or glass may cut or penetrate the eye and become embedded.

If this is the case, the person should not attempt to remove the object but cover the eye and seek medical help as soon as possible.

What to look for:

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n Pain or discomfort in the eye or eyelid

n Redness and watering of the eye

n A visible wound or a bloodshot appearance

n Blurred, partial or total loss of vision

What to do:

1. Advise the casualty not to rub their eye as this could make it worse. Ask them to sit down facing a light.

2. Gently open their eyelids with your thumbs and ask them to look right, left, up and down as you look closely at the eye.

3. If you can see something, ask them to tip their head backwards and wash it out by pouring clean water from the inner corner from a glass or jug.

4. If this doesn’t work and the object is still on the surface of the eye, try to remove it with a moist piece of gauze or the damp corner of a clean handkerchief or tissue. If the object isn’t easy to remove or the eye is very painful, seek medical advice.

For those looking for quick, easily accessible first aid information, the St John Ambulance app is available free on smartphones and the website offers demo videos, an interactive game, and lots of free advice. For more information about first aid courses please call 0303 003 0101.